Hurricane Florence Approaches US East Coast

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Ricardo Olivares, of Wilmington, North Carolina, covers windows at the Mellow Mushroom in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 11, 2018. The child's father was injured and taken to a hospital. 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. Nineteen people in North Carolina were killed, and 15,000 homes were destroyed.

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

So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75mph, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge "overwhelmed" the town, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said.

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel and hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water. Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.

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"We have seen a dramatic shift in the track", Scasny said, adding that big changes to the storm's behavior could emerge within the next two days. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

Steve Troxler, North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner, says preparation is key to minimizing losses.

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.

Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern in part to protect their house. "We just need to figure out how to make it through". That's about half the amount Hurricane Harvey - the largest rainfall event in US history - dropped on the greater Houston area a year ago.

Although it was once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140mph, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

Overall, risky storm surge is possible all the way from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

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More than 634,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said. Numerous evacuees took their pets.

More than 16 inches of rain have fallen in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way, the hurricane center said.

On Thursday the storm lost some wind speed and slowed its forward motion to around 9 knots as it approached the coast for a landfall Friday. President Donald Trump preemptively declared an emergency in North Carolina, enabling the state to access federal funds in anticipation of the storm.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people.

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