Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

"Some areas we can't get to at all", said Amber Parker, a spokeswoman for Craven County Emergency Management told broadcaster MSNBC.

Across several eastern states, residents scrambled to leave as the Category 4 storm, with winds of 225kmh, approached. It's big and it's vicious.

North Carolina still faces life-threatening storm surge along the North Carolina coast.

President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE", he wrote. "We are in total agreement that this is the correct decision".

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

The new trajectory means the storm will idle at sea for longer, creating even heavier and prolonged rains and storm surges for the Carolinas and possibly northern parts of Georgia. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoring it could take weeks.

The storm's path put a corridor of more than 10 million people in the crosshairs Wednesday as it closed in on the Carolinas, uncertainty over its projected path spreading worry across a widening swath of the Southeast. President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

- SCEMD (@SCEMD) September 13, 2018The President reinforced this is a risky storm, and everyone in evacuation areas should follow the advice of Governor McMaster to evacuate while there is still time. The intense rainfall is guaranteed to cause flooding in low-lying and coastal areas, as well as the overflow of watersheds, retention ponds, and tributaries, according to NWS.

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The storm was downgraded to category three with maximum sustained winds of 120mph (195km/h), but officials say it is still "extremely dangerous".

Forecasters expected some strengthening in the next 36 hours, as Florence marched west-northwest at 20kmh.

Mr Graham said the Pamlico and Neuse rivers in North Carolina will see their flows "reversed" as storm surges push water back inland.

North Alabama stays on the "dry" side of the storm for the duration; however, the wind will pick up from Friday through the weekend (north at 10-20 miles per hour on average), and some showers are possible by Sunday and Monday as the western edge of Florence's "influence" spreads clouds and some rain this direction. "It's going to happen".

However, he reiterated that just that minor factor alone is not enough to cause the cyclone to make major changes.

The majority of those affected were in New Hanover, Carteret, Onslow, Pender and Craven counties. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".

"We Need God's Help" is spray painted on wood boards covering the windows of a grocery store in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 12, 2018.

Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast.

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