Trinis in the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence

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

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence made landfall on the coast of North Carolina on Thursday, bringing with it warnings of "catastrophic" floods and renewed scrutiny of legislation that actually bars state agencies from crafting policies based on climate science models that warn of devastating sea-level rise due to human-caused global warming.

Rain and have wind started in the town of Morehead City, North Carolina, ahead of Hurricane Florence on September 13.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sent a stark warning to residents and said: "North Carolina, my message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep, and it's coming in". But no one is certain if Florence will be a hurricane or tropical storm at that point, he said.

Florence is a Category 2 storm in the Atlantic Ocean with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (169 kph).

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. It is still considered risky with potential for strong winds and hazardous flooding.

"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.

U.S. television networks said 7pm to 7am curfews had been put in place in several towns surrounding Myrtle Beach.

The rain turned sideways Thursday, rivers swelled and floodwaters began to fill streets, as massive Hurricane Florence trudged toward North Carolina.

Because hurricane force winds extend 130 kilometers from the center, people on land will experience sharply deteriorating conditions long before the center reaches the coast. That increases the amount of time people will be stuck under the high wind of the storm. The storm surge in some locations is going to set records.

Long said the danger was not only along the coast. "Once you leave, you don't know how many days it will be before you can return", she said.

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We continue to keep an eye on Hurricane Florence as the storm inches closer to the southeast coast.

He went on to explain as the storm moves inland, and the rivers begin to rise, many people inland will likely need to evacuate as well. Several residents fled the coast under both mandatory and voluntary evacuations.

The Outer Banks will see Tropical-Storm-Force winds today, with winds gradually picking up speed in coastal Virginia.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"We try to facilitate. anything that makes a smooth transition from home to shelter", he said. "We were going to have Chick-fil-A delivered to the airplane after the game, but have sent instructions that those meals be distributed wherever it could do the most good".

Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.

Those officials, who are trained to work at this capacity, will be monitoring the storm and helping to answer emergency calls and coordinating response efforts before, during and after the storm, he said. "I'm not leaving him here".

"But I'm not afraid", he said.

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

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.

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