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Hurricane Florence begins to batter the Carolinas

About half of all deaths in hurricanes come from storm surge.

The outer bands of the cyclone drenched the Carolinas on Thursday, flooding roads and knocking out power in an ominous glimpse of the damage it could inflict when it makes landfall on Friday.

In Morehead City, the rain and surf pounded the shoreline and took aim at the few boats still in the water. With it, the storm will drop significant rainfall across the Grand Strand – 15 inches to 20 inches and the Midlands – 4 inches to 10 inches.

South Carolina’s state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft). Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles. At 90 miles per hour, its wind speed was dipping but still unsafe.

Marson said they’d lost power and the winds were howling outside, but they had enough food and water to last them for days.

According to Colgate, initial weather forecasts had Greenville “on the very outer edge of the storm”.

Forecasters say the center of Florence is expected to move inland between Friday and Saturday.

Florence’s center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and SC – punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who’ve stayed behind.

“There is some damage. but it is still standing strong”. But James said she and her family are prepared and stocked up on several items.

Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected.

“We already bought candles, batteries, can food items, water and so on”. Numerous evacuees had pets with them. “And since we have three dogs and three parrots, they’re requesting us to purchase two to six rooms”.

He reminded residents to only use 911 for emergencies, and 211 if you are in need of shelter or food. “But can’t replace us, so we chose to come here”, said the 39-year-old.

“I end up hearing more negative stories about leaving than staying”, Mrs. Mramer said.

As the storm approached, Gomez said she planned to wait out the storm at a school shelter. It’s a kind gesture but doesn’t alleviate Browning’s fear. “I’m going to Charlotte”. “But I think it’ll be OK”.

FEMA’s Long warned the danger was not only along the coast: “Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that’s what we’re about to see”, he said.

Federal emergency management officials warned that Florence – while weakening slightly – remains a “very unsafe storm” capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA-Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane “Florence,” a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights as it zeroes in on the USA southeast coast. A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina. On Thursday the health system did not have any patients admitted from hospitals in SC.

Even so, many residents of Myrtle Beach proudly recalled how they had weathered a number of storms in the past and were confident they could ride out Florence too.

Governor Cooper said the state would arrange a visit by Trump “at an appropriate time”.

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► Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks. According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm.