More than a thousand flights canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence

Don't play games with it, says Trump as Hurricane Florence heads for US East Coast

Don't play games with it, says Trump as Hurricane Florence heads for US East Coast

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged people to take the storm seriously.

In the North Carolina town of Wilmington, which could take a direct hit from Florence, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said. "I am frightened about what's coming". Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Then, it will likely hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 13 feet (nearly 4 metres) of storm surge and dumping 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimetres) of rain on both states, before slogging over the Appalachian Mountains. Florence's hurricane-force winds were blowing 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 195 miles (315 kilometers) from the eye.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Hurricane Florence continues to barrel toward the coast of the Carolinas as a powerful Category 2 hurricane.

As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph.

More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact.

Gradually, Friday through the weekend (local time), the massive storm - containing a zone of tropical-storm-force winds almost 643km wide - will drift inland, engulfing much of SC and southern North Carolina. Most often people evacuating the storm at the last minute get stuck in flash flooding while driving.

A slow motion across portions of eastern SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night.Data from the aircraft and Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 miles per hour with higher gusts. The evacuation of Wrightsville Beach remains in effect, House said. That forecast area also includes part of southwest Virginia. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

"You have to get to higher ground", Hamill warned residents living in especially low-lying areas in the Southeast. The couple said they would have had to travel too far inland to find a hotel that would have accepted their animals as guests. It had long lines on Thursday.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern.

In its 2 p.m. September 13 update, the NHC the storm is getting hit by the Outer Banks and southeastern North Carolina. Instead, they drove 150 miles (240 km) inland to his mother's house in Durham.

"Common words that meteorological colleagues have been using to describe the track include 'unprecedented, ' 'remarkable, ' and 'never seen before, ' Shepherd says".

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