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Final calls to evacuate as Florence buffets US East Coast

Final calls to evacuate as Florence buffets US East Coast

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state. But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day - will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours. The threat of tornadoes is found in the bands of rain moving onshore.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm overnight on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale but it is still packing hurricane-force winds of 105 miles (165 kilometres) per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. That said, just because the category has changed, it doesn't mean that it should be taken lightly.

Florence is now moving to the northwest at 17 kilometers per hour.

Note: This may not be the most recent forecast, please visit www.myfox8.com or open the FOX8 app for the very latest on Hurricane Florence.

Florence will move very slowly on Saturday, but we should start to see conditions improve slightly.

As of 11 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph.

Life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected.

A weather station in Atlantic Beach recorded a total of 12.73 inches for a 24-hour period. Our real impacts are going to be the second phase of this storm as it moves inland.

At least 280,000 people are already without power as the outskirts of the storm lashed North and SC, and Virginia.

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The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018.

Florence, though downgraded to a Category 2 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, remained unsafe and unpredictable, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. With tropical system, the possibility of quick, spin-up tornadoes is greatest along the eastern side of the eye.

Brock, meanwhile, said the surges "are going to be a major problem way up into the streams and tributaries that come out of sound areas". He asked citizens in danger zones to heed warnings because "your time is running out". "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km)".

This video was shot at the Fish Heads Bar & Grill pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, and shows rough surf ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall. The Sumter resident weathered Hugo, and she said the first thing people have on their minds when they arrive at the shelter is what their house and belongings will be like when they return home. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

"If you are under an evacuation order and you haven't left, the time to leave is now".

Residents should stay away from doors and windows and stay in the most interior part of the structure they are using for shelter, he said.

With a storm surge warning in effect, the authorities urge people to prepare themselves for the disaster.

Over 1.5 million people have been evacuated from the coast.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.