More than a thousand flights canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence

A child looks on as a man boards up a mobile home in Wilmington ahead of the hurricane

At 5 p.m. Thursday, the center of Florence was 100 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The coastal areas of North Carolina are expected to bear the brunt of the storm surge, with a nine to 13-foot (four-meter) wall of water pushing inland.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 100 miles per hour (155 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland.

Florence is expected to go move slowly as it approaches North and SC, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.

A long stretch of the United States eastern seaboard remained vulnerable to hurricane and tropical storm conditions, from Georgia north through the Carolinas into Virginia.

"We can only hope it won't hit hard", White said.

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

Delivering a report from Morehead City, North Carolina, Leland Vittert wrapped himself around a lamppost to make sure the powerful gusts did not sweep him off his feet. Airlines had cancelled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

"We expect those numbers to rise significantly over the next 24 hours, as the storm approaches and airlines finalize their operations plans", said Sara Orsi, a spokesperson for FlightAware.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

More than 12,000 people fleeing the storm have taken shelter at 126 shelters open across the state.

Where is Hurricane Florence now?

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent". Today will feature a mix of sun and clouds as highs warm into the low 80s. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

Florence isn’t alone. More tropical storms are brewing
Readings of 15 miles per hour were already being recorded in Emerald Isle, a popular beach town on Bogue Banks near Cape Lookout. It is looking more likely that the CSRA could see wind and heavy rain from the storm this weekend into early next week.


A National Weather Service forecaster has said it will be the "storm of a lifetime" for parts of the Carolina coast.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

All four major USA airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

The bad news? The still-dangerous storm is slowing down ... and is expected to take a leisurely "fish hook" dip through SC after coming ashore somewhere between Carolina Beach, N.C. and Emerald Isle, N.C. sometime around 2:00 a.m. EDT.

Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.

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