`Historic` hurricane Florence moves towards Carolinas, thousands in the U.S. at risk

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why do people ignore hurricane warnings

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Why do people ignore hurricane warnings

Hurricane Florence is now bearing down on the Southeast, specifically the Carolina's, and the slow-moving hurricane has everyone anxious with the amount of rain it could dump, with a potential to cause massive flooding-not to mention the damage from 80 mile-per-hour winds expected later today.

However, the Centre adds warns Hurricane Florence could still produce "a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions over portions of eastern North Carolina.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

"Go ahead and go - even those who are season-veterans that weathered other storms in the past", Knight said.

"We are in constant contact with moms who are close to delivery dates, before the storm, and we advise them to maybe leave the county, because there is a time. that they won't be able to travel during the storm", he tells McCammon.

Far out in the Atlantic, Joyce strengthened into a tropical storm on Thursday evening with top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph).

"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.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.


North Carolinians made last-minute preparations and hunkered down to await Florence's arrival. O'Shaughnessy, head of US Northern Command, said search and rescue would be a top priority, but weather may prevent rescuers from getting in during the hours immediately after the storm hits.

"This is a powerful storm that can kill", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in a Thursday press briefing.

The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said.

Incredible amounts of water will fall from the sky over the next several days in the Carolinas. After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband. They've also been praying, singing songs in their native language.

"We immediately gave up our hotel rooms so that more rooms are now available to those coming inland", Colgate coach Dan Hunt said.

Memorial University Medical Center received nine patients from other HCA facilities in SC and eight from Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, Memorial spokesman Dale Hooks wrote in an email.

A power outage model run at the University of MI projects that 3.2 million customers will be without electricity because of the storm, mostly in the eastern half of North Carolina. From east to west, the community is less than a dozen blocks deep, with the Atlantic on one side and the Cape Fear River on the other.

On Monday, with the storm appearing to shift south, McMaster, the SC governor, ordered schools in Aiken County, near the Georgia line, to close for the rest of the week to free up shelter space for hurricane evacuees.

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