The outer edge of Hurricane Florence began buffeting the Carolinas with wind and rain on Thursday as forecasters warned the monster storm would trigger life-threatening flooding as it assaults the United States east coast. "Have some pity on us because if you stay here and you have a problem and we have to get out in it, there's a chance that we won't because we can't".
"What we've seen as far as people actually evacuating, just from monitoring evacuation routes, seems there's been a pretty light amount of people evacuating", Ms. Norton said. The storm, they warned for the final time, was not to be played with.
He spent the last few hours of calm before the storm visiting those who stayed, collecting contact information for their next-of-kin.
Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday evening at 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 miles per hour (224 km/h) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for.
"However, intense rainbands are expected to develop over the Atlantic waters and keep moving along the coast and inland, likely producing strong wind gusts through Saturday (Sept. 15) night", said the NHC in a discussion of the storm.
Sprayberry delivered one of his final briefings before the storm hit on Thursday as Hurricane Florence began her dramatic descent. Along the coast, fewer homes have flood insurance than five years ago. It said it was located about 35 miles (55 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march. Exactly how bad the storm surge will be with Hurricane Florence remains to be seen, but meteorologists for NBC News are predicting that it could be up to 13 feet-and that is higher than Hurricane Maria, which brought a storm surge of around nine feet to parts of Puerto Rico. Floodwaters may enter tens of thousands of structures and could make many uninhabitable.
Duke Energy, the major power supplier for North and SC, told the New York Times on Wednesday that the storm could knock out power for up to 3 million customers across the two states. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
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"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said.
Twice a day for the past week, Michael Sprayberry, the Director of North Carolina's Division of Emergency Management has briefed officials working out of the sprawling glass and steel building that is serving as the state's emergency response hub ahead of Hurricane Florence.
Is global warming to blame?
"This is a very unsafe storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground.
Climate change will increase the number of both hurricanes and tornados.
Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that was later downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland. "I've got four cats inside the house".
Montgomery explained that even though they have extra crews on standby, that does not mean your power will get turned back on right away.