As Hurricane Florence nears, live surf cam videos show impact on Carolinas

Dramatic Change In Path Projected As Cat 4 Hurricane Florence Closes In On Coast

FEMA said budget diverted to ICE will not impact response to Florence

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, there are 5.25 million residents in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places under tropical storm warnings or watches. Florence is moving toward the west-northwest at nearly 5 miles per hour (7 kph).

"Simply put, when you have tens of thousands of people that are trying to get out of harm's way and they're all filling up at the same time, certainly it overwhelms how much gasoline can be gas stations". "Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over short distances", the advisory said.

Hurricane Florence isn't spending this hurricane season alone.

Mayor Joe Benson said the storm will batter the oceanside town through two high-tide periods. Showers and blustery conditions are likely Friday and Saturday.

The storm is now expected to make landfall in the lower Outer Banks of North Carolina early Friday morning or possibly stay in the ocean before making a shift to the left toward SC.

But most of the region will be spared of significant effects from Florence. By Sunday, Florence will have dissipated to a tropical storm, and by Monday morning it will be a tropical depression. In a 2 p.m. advisory, forecasters said sustained winds remained at 60 miles per hour, down from 75 miles per hour Monday. The storm is expected to maintain this forward motion into Friday when a slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected Friday night and into Saturday.

Florence's eye could come ashore early Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

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But the biggest danger could be life-threatening storm surges.

On Thursday morning, a tweet from South Carolina's Emergency Management Division brought this perspective on Florence's sheer size: It's "larger than SC and North Carolina combined". And the size of the storm is very large - meaning it is really big. Volvo is coordinating with parts suppliers so it will be ready to resume production, according to Datz, who said he wasn't sure how long the plant would be down.

Hurricane Florence is also expected to move over an area full of hog farms, many of which contain open air lagoons that collect pig excrement.

Hurricane Florence is slamming a region that is economically diverse as well as sizable. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

On Thursday, almost 600 flights were canceled with more than 500 already grounded for Friday, data from flight tracking site showed.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "It's something we haven't seen. ever". The team is following storm updates, reviewing hazards and historical flooding maps as well as getting familiarized with the area.

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"It doesn't matter where you are", he said. Flash flooding is going to be a big issue soon - certainly catastrophic.

Feinstein notes that with the hurricane's change of direction to a more southerly track Wednesday, it appears Florence no longer poses a threat to Charlotte, one of American's busiest hubs, minimizing the impact on the airline's operations there.

"This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

Along North Carolina's Pamlico River, the area is bracing for a storm surge of up to 13 feet, and all low-lying and flood-prone areas are under mandatory-evacuation orders.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

"Everyone is safe and they have a great facility to set up operations", the district said on Facebook.

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