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The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Landfall is expected early Friday.

Click through the slideshow above to see how residents have been impacted by the risky storm, and check back frequently for updates. Florence remains a risky Cat 4 with max winds of 130 miles per hour with a NW movement of 15 miles per hour. "Florence will then recurve across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week".

"This Hurricane is bringing some rain and water that we have not seen before in Hurricane", McMaster said, "Winds may match that of Hugo, but Florence may bring more rain".

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

Any shift farther to the south in the track would increase rainfall totals across the area, and increase the threat for tornadoes. Widespread rainfall amounts could reach 152mm to 300mm, spurring flooding.

The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia could see 6 to 12 inches, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches. "This is a life-threatening situation", the advisory said.

The result could be what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago - catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, fields and industrial sites. Amtrak also cancelled scheduled train operations through the region.

Hurricane Florence's path could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help. More than four million people live in areas at most risk from the storm, which the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii categorised as a super typhoon with powerful winds and gusts.

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The strongest winds will occur where and when the storm makes landfall in a ring around the calm eye of the storm known as the eyewall.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

There are no watches or warnings in effect for the CSRA.

With a storm surge warning in effect, the authorities urge people to prepare themselves for the disaster.

While the storm has since weakened, a storm surge of more than 12-feet and almost 30-inches of rain is still expected.

The full impact of the storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

Still, the storm has the capacity for huge destruction.

Winds: 60% - 80% chance of tropical storm force winds (39 mph) in the eastern forecast area. A tropical storm warning covers the area from north of Duck to the Virgina Tidewater area. The storm's 12-mph speed Thursday morning was a marked drop from Wednesday's 17-mph speeds. It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina. Weakening is expected after the center moves inland.

And yet another tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Thursday night.

As of 8 a.m. EDT it was centered about 170 miles (275 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 220 miles (355 kilometers) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving northwest at 12 mph (20 kph).