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That's because the area covered by hurricane-force winds recently doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds topping 73 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Thousands more have been ordered to prepare to deploy if needed.

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. Categories only represent the speed of sustained winds, and these are still destructive. It is now at Category 1.

Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.

Heavy rain, storm surge, damaging winds, rough surf and isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially in eastern North Carolina.

Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall into coastal North Carolina, with the possibility of it stretching into the far northeastern portion of SC, the NHC said. That's enough to fill more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

"It's cumulative damage", Myers said. So will the trees. Tropical-storm-force winds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 90 miles per hour (144 kph) by nightfall.

U.S. Southeast power companies said more than 19,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina, Virginia and SC were without on Thursday power as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast.

Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected.

Constable said she's prepared for the worst. Numerous evacuees had pets with them. "And since we have three dogs and three parrots, they're requesting us to purchase two to six rooms".

Hurricane Florence may approach Category 5
Hurricane Florence has been quickly strengthening Monday and is on route to severely impact the Carolinas at the end of the week. This includes cities in the path of Florence such as Wilmington and Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia.

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

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income". "I'm not leaving him here". "So since we can't find anything within our means, ... we've opted to stay".

She said she expects to be without power for up to two weeks. It's a kind gesture but doesn't alleviate Browning's fear.

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. "But I think it'll be OK".

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

"Inland flooding kills a lot of people".

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

Storm surge is caused in part by the brunt of hurricane force winds.

"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.

With the hurricane beginning to batter North Carolina, the state's Governor has asked US President Donald Trump for another federal disaster declaration beyond what he declared earlier this week. "So, just because the rain starts letting up, don't assume everything's good and you can go back to your house in some low-lying area, and then be surprised by the river coming up".

"Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye", German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted. "You need to go on and get out now".

Six feet (1.8m) of storm surge could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water, according to Dr Postel. Those four storms are brewing at the same time Hurricane Olivia is pounding Hawaii.