National Weather Service Though Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a category 2 hurricane, it's still caused storm surges up to 10 feet in some areas, with the worst of the flooding still expected to come.
At 5 p.m. Hurricane Florence was located about 310 miles east-northeast of Savannah moving west-northwest at 5 mph with winds of 100 mph. But while the storm is predicted to pass near Wilmington, North Carolina, the majority of surge-related flooding will actually be to north near Pamlico Sound.
There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey past year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater.
He said the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of the state-activated National Guard troops.
McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast.
Hurricanes and typhoons not only bring severe coastal flooding via storm surge-they create bad inland flooding as well.
The bulk of the three media briefings held by police chief Dan House surrounded how they were still anticipating the serious and catastrophic storm surge as well as hurricane force winds.
"I was feeling fine until I woke up this morning and this is a ghost town", said Kristin Beard, a 40-year-old Myrtle Beach marketer.
Forecasters warned that Florence was poised to create a unsafe storm surge of up to 13 feet in parts of North Carolina.
President Trump authorizes sanctions against U.S. elections meddling
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Wednesday that now, Trump had "acted decisively" on the issue. The 45-day period is based on when interference is believed to have happened and not specifically tied to Election Day.
Given that the forward speed of Florence will slow to a crawl today and tonight, coastal areas in the Carolinas will have to withstand these destructive winds for a very long period of time.
Gerst was in absolute awe of the storm, as we all would be, saying the storm was so wide they could only capture it with a wide angle lens.
Hurricane Florence's leading edge is battering the Carolina coast, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets, as the hulking storm closes in with 160kph winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.
Because most are managed as wild animals, numerous horses will be left to fend for themselves, said Paula Gillikin of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve.
The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year.
The hospital's president, Ronnie Sloan, said it is remaining open for "the same reason we got into health care". They've also been praying, singing songs in their native language. "We're able", he said.
Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm. With the governor of North Carolina calling the storm "a monster" and one Atlantic weather expert predicting that it could be "an unprecedented disaster for North Carolina", mandatory evacuation orders are in effect in many parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
Despite reassurances from FEMA and Trump, Florence's fluctuations and course-change predictions have added to the difficulties of preparing for such a massive storm.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.