Hundreds more flights canceled as Florence nears the Carolina coastal area


Hurricane Florence has just about reached the cost of the Carolinas, set to bring heavy rain and damaging winds to the area tomorrow and through the weekend.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Morehead City, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h).

A man waves the USA national flag in the wind and rain from from Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 13, 2018.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

The mayor of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland. Up to 10 feet of storm surge is expected, while some of the inlets can see up to 15 feet.

The massive cyclone was expected to make landfall on the North Carolina coast Friday, bringing "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding while slowly drifting over SC through Saturday.

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He said hurricane-force winds extended outward 128km from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 320km out. Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but reconsidered due to its ferocity.

"But that's not going to be until Monday", Eliasen said". "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

"But it could have a positive effect on eastern parts because it could also bring tropical air".

"But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".

Several of the images were taken when the ISS was directly over the eye of the hurricane.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

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At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push as far as 3km inland.

Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast.

Another live stream at Wilmington Tower, which usually broadcasts sweeping views of the North Carolina landscape, shows storm clouds rolling in over the ocean.

At least 188,000 people were without power in North Carolina and SC.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents ignored calls to evacuate.

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But, knowing the intensity of Florence's impact on Myrtle Beach, "My friends are worrying me right now", Combs said.