Near 440,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas

With Hurricane Florence and other storm systems such as Isaac Helene Joyce and Olivia raging in the waters around the US here are the terms you need to know

The storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

"I think I could survive a long time".

The NHC said the first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour would hit the region early on Thursday with the storm's center reaching the coast Friday. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, the hurricane center said.

"It will be much easier since it's on the mainland", Scanlon said, "so you hopefully won't see some of the problems that we had with Maria previous year".

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave. We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas.

By the time it leaves, it's expected to have unloaded 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.

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"From Wilmington to Charlotte, we'll experience between a 500-year and 1,000-year flood event", Trogdon warned in a late-morning briefing. The National Weather Service said as much as seven inches of rain had fallen overnight in some coastal areas.

"You can't get over till we have power and we have sewer up and running", said the retired teacher and real estate agent, who rode out the hurricane in an inland hotel. "So we really have a new hustle this morning to get the rest of those 150 people out".

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added.

What also makes Florence extremely risky are the deadly storm surges, mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall expected far inland.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm will eventually push westward and make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic region and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

Numerous communities throughout the region have issued either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared". And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

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"Of course, I live in New Bern, I'm a property owner here, I have friends that live here and have property here, work here, and it's devastating to see our handsome community and parts of it underwater, and to even worry about my own home". The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

Meanwhile, what could be the world's most risky storm at the moment is Super Typhoon Mangkhut, which now has winds of 165 miles per hour (with 200 miles per hour gusts) and is taking aim on the Philippines, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 225 km/h, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

Because a large section of the storm will remain over the water, and it's even possible the center drifts back over the ocean, its weakening will be very slow on Friday.

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

Air Force General Terrence J O'Shaughnessy, head of US Command, said search and rescue is a top priority but that the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of rescuers. Rainfall of up to 20 to 40 inches could fall over the next five days in some areas, forecasters say. Storm surge is another danger.

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Image: Waters come ashore in Avon, North Carolina. Thousands of soldiers from their National Guard forces have been mobilized.

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