The area to the north of Florence's landfall along the North Carolina coast-storm surge is always worst to the "right" of a storm's center, where its rotation pushes water onshore-is less populated and developed than the New Jersey and NY shores.
The outer bands of Hurricane Florence are just starting to lash out at the Carolinas, but it won't be long before the slow moving storm drops rain in the Pittsburgh area.
Hurricane Florence in the Atlantic Ocean as it threatens the US East Coast.
But the weather system will have weakened by the time it hits the western side of the United Kingdom, becoming more of a storm, the Met Office said.
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to Category 2 storm on Thursday, but forecasters cautioned that the mammoth storm still poses a major threat to millions of people.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that "disaster is at the doorstep", and "tens of thousands" of buildings may be flooded.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm's strength should continue through Thursday. The National Hurricane Center says it's now expected to hit Wilmington and then veer west, taking it south of Charlotte.
The storm is also predicted to bring historic rainfall of up to 35 inches to the Wilmington region.
The hurricane center also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.
PHOTO: Jim Carter and Rob Quinn board up Lagerheads Tavern in Wrightsville Beach, N.C.as they prepare for Hurricane Florence, Sept. 10, 2018.More news: Teaser: Rajinikanth And Akshay Kumar's Ganesh Chaturthi Treat. Do. Not. Blink
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Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said. "We're about to be in the thick of it".
"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence. "We've just never seen anything like this".
People in areas vulnerable to the risky hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.
"You have a double whammy in the flooding", he said. "It will probably fall faster than it can leave. There will be some rain but at the moment it doesn't look as though that's going to be the issue".
Hurricane Florence carries a heavy risk of flash floods as it brings up to 13-foot storm surge and a possible 40 inches of rain to the Carolina coast.
A storm front is seen on the beach in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, prior to Hurricane Florence moving toward the USA east coast. A third high-pressure system over the central US pushed the cyclone south and could contribute to its stalling, which could result in a situation similar to what happened in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hovered over Houston and devastated it with massive rains and flooding.
Hurricane Florence has prompted evacuations from Georgia to Virginia as the risky storm approaches land - but time is running out for the few remaining holdouts.
"Extremely unsafe winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage". The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.
Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm, is slowly approaching the US coast, and the storm's massive fury is on full display in video footage taken from the International Space Station.
Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon. On Wednesday, officials said some of those shelters were at capacity, but in a statement early Thursday, county officials said they were "able to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the need for shelter space".