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story.lead_photo.caption This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence on the eastern coast of the United States on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (NOAA via AP)

1:50 p.m.

Hurricane Florence evacuees from the Carolinas are getting free tickets to watch the University of Florida's football team play Colorado State.

The ticket office and athletic association at the University of Florida extended the invitation to evacuees for Saturday's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.

Gator officials say evacuees had to present a valid ID showing they're from North Carolina or South Carolina.

1:05 p.m.

Though weakened, Florence remains a very large, slow and dangerous storm as it swirls over the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's top sustained winds were holding at 45 mph, with higher gusts east of the storm's center.

At 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, Florence was inching west at 3 mph, with its center located about 50 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Forecasters say prolonged rainfall from Florence could produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding.

Tropical storm-force winds stretched up to 150 miles from the storm's center.

A mandatory evacuation order has been put in place for anyone who lives within a mile of the banks of North Carolina's Cape Fear River and Little River.

Officials from Cumberland County, Fayetteville and the town of Wade issued the order early Saturday afternoon, saying residents there face "imminent danger" from flood waters expected to arrive in the area soon.

Residents are being asked to leave immediately. Officials said flood waters from other areas are accumulating north of the county and filling the river basins beyond their capacities. They asked that the evacuation begin immediately and that everyone within the evacuation areas get out by 3 p.m. Sunday.

Seven emergency shelters are open in the county.

11:50 a.m.

Officials in South Carolina are reporting the state's first fatality due to Florence, bringing the storm's overall death toll to at least five.

A 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree that had fallen across Highway 18 near the town of Union.

Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the woman, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. No passengers were in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

The tree was about 6 feet above the road surface. Hughes said the vehicle's roof is what struck the tree.

Four weather-related deaths have been reported in North Carolina.

11:35 a.m.

Portions of eastern North Carolina's two interstates are closed because of flooding caused by Tropical Storm Florence's torrential rains and may not re-open before Monday.

The state Department of Transportation says a 16-mile stretch of Interstate 95 between its intersection with I-40 and near the town of Dunn is closed. Law enforcement has set up a detour.

Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said Saturday that authorities were still assembling an alternate route for a 5-mile section of I-40 that is closed in both directions near the town of Warsaw, about 70 miles southeast of Raleigh.

The state DOT said on its website that the two roads are expected to re-open by Monday morning.

Trogdon says road conditions are expected to get worse in the immediate future, pointing out the number of closed primary roads in eastern counties had doubled compared to Friday. He urged motorists not to travel east of I-95 or south of U.S. Highway 70.

10:45 a.m.

The Navy says almost 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return.

The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday.

A Navy statement says the decision comes after inspections of the region's port and airfield.

10:30 a.m.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in several coastal South Carolina counties as Florence continues to dump rain on the state.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting evacuation orders for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and the Edisto Beach area of Colleton County effective at noon Saturday.

McMaster had ordered residents in most of the state's coastal counties to evacuate ahead of Florence's arrival. The slow-moving storm is still dumping colossal amounts of rain on North Carolina and parts of northern South Carolina.

Evacuation orders remain in place for Horry and Georgetown counties along South Carolina's northern coast.

10 a.m.

Tropical Storm Florence continues to weaken as it dumps dangerous amounts of rain across the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 45 mph.

At 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, Florence was moving west at 2 mph, with its center located about 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The storm's extremely slow speed means the risk of catastrophic flooding remains high across both states. Some areas are forecast to receive up to 15 inches more rain, and storm totals could reach over 3 feet in some areas for the week.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says areas like New Bern, North Carolina, could also see additional storm surge as high tide combines with the ocean waters still being pushed ashore by Florence's outer bands.

8 a.m.

North Carolina's Harnett County has declared a mandatory evacuation along a river that's expected to rise to more than 17 feet above flood stage.

On its Facebook page, the county said the evacuation was in effect along the Lower Little River near the Cumberland County line.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the river to crest at Manchester at 35.4 feet at about 8 a.m. Monday. Flood stage is 18 feet.

The previous record crest was 29 feet set during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

The river is forecast to reach flood stage sometime after 2 a.m. Sunday.

7:25 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina and that will make federal money available to people in the counties of Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender.

Government aid can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence.

Money also is available to the state, some local governments, and some private nonprofit groups on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in those counties.

7 a.m.

Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to dump dangerous amounts of rain as it continues its slow slog across the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving west at 2 mph, with its center located about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds remained at 50 mph.

The region is being pounded with rain from the slow-moving storm, causing the risk of catastrophic flooding. Southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast

Parts of North and South Carolina can expect an additional 10 to 15 inches. Storm totals could reach between 30 and 40 inches in some areas.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

4 a.m.

Tropical Storm Florence keeps drenching the central Carolinas, with an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain expected before it finally swings north over the Appalachian Mountains and into the Ohio Valley on Monday.

The National Hurricane Center says top sustained winds have dropped to near 50 mph with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday.

At 5 a.m. EDT, the center was all but parked over South Carolina, about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 5 mph and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea.

12:30 a.m.

Tropical Storm Florence is practically stalled over the Carolinas and the monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet. That, in turn, could trigger epic flooding well inland.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper calls Florence the "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities. The storm is some 400 miles wide. Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in South Carolina. Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds besieged by the rising waters.

Early Saturday morning Florence's winds weakened to 65 mph as it moved forward at 5 mph and was about 15 miles west northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

6:15 p.m. Friday

Dozens of people in the North Carolina town of Belhaven had to be rescued from the rising waters of Pungo River and a creek that together hem in the sea-level community.

The downtown area including the municipal building and nearby homes were swamped, starting with the high tide Thursday evening. Roads into the town of about 1,500 people remained submerged Friday, forcing the retreat of a county ambulance truck and an electricity company repair vehicle that tried to enter from the east and west along the town's main road.

Mayor Ricky Credle was holed up at the municipal building Friday afternoon. He said the town is "closed off" amid the highest water downtown that he had ever seen.

Credle says the sheriff's department used a high-axle truck to rescue some residents who wanted to leave, dropping them off at Red Cross shelters.

At least four casualties have been reported as the storm slowly moves across the state.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, and a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, authorities said.

6 p.m.

Officials at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington have announced the school will remain closed until further notice because of the effects of Hurricane Florence.

A memo sent out to school personnel Friday said officials "cannot yet effectively or comprehensively assess the impact on our campus." Because of that, the school said it is unable to determine when it will resume the fall semester. The school will remain closed until further notice.

The memo said the school will give students and employees as much notice as possible before it reopens, giving weight to travel challenges and other factors. Officials said they can't determine how the closure will affect the academic calendar.

Gallery: Hurricane Florence

5:55 p.m.

Hikers are having to get off the Appalachian Trail as Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump heavy rains, causing floods and other dangerous conditions in areas the trail passes through.

The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service have closed portions of the trail in North Carolina and Virginia because of the storms.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is urging hikers to get off the trail and seek shelter. The nonprofit said dangerous conditions could include falling trees, flash floods and mudslides.

The Appalachian Trail stretches more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine and has more than 3 million visitors each year. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says more than 3,000 people attempt to hike the entire trail each year.

5:50 p.m.

More than three-quarters of a million power outages have been reported in the Carolinas as Tropical Storm Florence slowly creeps across the two states.

Emails and website tallies from North Carolina utilities show more than 750,000 outages had been reported in North Carolina as of late Friday afternoon.

Poweroutage.us tracks outages across the country. The service saif more than 107,000 outages were reported in South Carolina.

The storm's top sustained winds have dropped to 70 mph, and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 mph.

At 4 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center. The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

4:50 p.m.

Swift-water rescue teams are assisting residents of one historic North Carolina community swamped by Hurricane Florence.

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told The Associated Press more than 360 people had been rescued by mid-afternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help.

She said crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground.

Roberts says there is widespread damage and power outages in the city but so far no reports of deaths or injuries.

4 p.m.

Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and South Carolina with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 mph, and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 mph.

At 4 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center. The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

3:25 p.m.

South Carolina's most popular tourist destination is riding out Hurricane Florence without major problems so far.

In North Myrtle Beach, rain has been falling nearly all day and tree branches and limbs are on some roads. The power is out on the main strip, but almost no vehicles are on the six-lane highway through the center of town other than police.

North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling says three-quarters of the area's 37,000 electric customers are without power.

To the south, Myrtle Beach was faring better. Power outages were spotty, and Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea says no significant property damage has been reported.

No areas in South Carolina reported problems with surge from the ocean as winds continued from the land pushing water away.

3:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is preparing to travel to areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump will travel to the region "early to middle of next week."

She adds his trip will take place "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts."

Aides say Trump has been monitoring the storm from the White House, and he has taken to Twitter to encourage those in its path to listen to their local authorities for how best to remain safe.

The storm, blamed for at least three fatalities, has inundated parts of the Carolina coast with heavy rain and high winds.

2:05 p.m.

A mother and infant in North Carolina are dead after a tree fell on their home — the first two fatalities of Hurricane Florence.

The Wilmington Police Department said Friday that the two were killed when a tree fell on their house. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment. No other information was given.

The hurricane came ashore early Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds.

Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

1 p.m.

A weakening Hurricane Florence is almost at a standstill over southeastern North Carolina.

It just barely has Category 1 hurricane strength with top sustained winds of 75 mph.

At 2 p.m., Florence was centered about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was crawling west at 5 mph.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was forecast to keep moving farther inland across the Carolinas through the weekend before turning toward the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 170 miles.

12:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service says 14 to 15 inches of rain has already fallen north of Swansboro, North Carolina, and it's only going to get worse.

Weather Prediction Center senior forecaster David Roth said catastrophic flash flooding is expected to continue to worsen Friday.

He said that the heavy rainfall for southeast North Carolina is only one-third to one-quarter the way over.

"Plenty of heavy rain remains in the future for this region," Roth wrote in the weather center's rain forecast discussion.

12 p.m.

Flights are grounded at several airports in the Southeast as Hurricane Florence barges through the region.

By midday Friday, airlines had canceled more than 2,100 U.S. flights from the storm's approach on Wednesday through Sunday, according to tracking service FlightAware.

The region's two largest airports, in Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, had more than 200 cancellations on Friday. That's about half the flights in Raleigh and one in eight at Charlotte.

That's not much compared with last year's Hurricane Harvey, which flooded runways at two major airports and caused airlines to scrub more than 11,000 flights in Houston alone.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Charleston International Airport in South Carolina isn't expected to reopen until Monday night. Wilmington International in North Carolina expects to reopen at noon Saturday.

11:25 a.m.

Florence's total rainfall will likely be staggeringly huge, a forecaster says.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculates that Hurricane Florence is forecast to dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain in seven days over the Carolinas and Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

That doesn't quite measure up to the 25 trillion gallons Harvey dropped on Texas and Louisiana last year. Maue says Harvey stalled longer and stayed closer to the coast, which enabled it to keep sucking moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

Still, 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay. It's enough to cover the entire state of Texas with nearly 4 inches of water.

That much rain is 2.4 trillion cubic feet. It's enough to cover Manhattan with nearly 3,800 feet of water, more than twice as high as the island's tallest building.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough rain to cover the Tar Heel state in about 10 inches of water.

Maue calculates that 34 million people will get at least 3 inches, with more than 5.7 million getting at least a foot and about 1.5 million getting 20 inches or more.

10:55 a.m.

U.S. immigration officials say they won't do any active enforcement during evacuations or in shelters during Hurricane Florence.

Homeland Security officials say Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are focused on the preservation of life and safety.

The Trump administration has stepped up arrests of people living in the country illegally, but during this storm they say they won't enforce immigration laws unless there's a serious public safety threat.

Immigration officers have been dispatched to help with response and recovery as Florence lashes North and South Carolina with life-threatening winds, rain and floods.

But Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says saving lives is the priority, and anyone fearing for their safety should call 911 for help. Federal officials say they don't want people to fear going to shelters.

10:45 a.m.

North Carolina officials say parts of the state could experience a once-in-a-millennia flood as Hurricane Florence dumps rain for days to come.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that Florence is "wreaking havoc" and he's concerned "whole communities" could be wiped away.

He said parts of the state have seen storm surges as high as 10 feet.

Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said the state is expecting 1,000-year "flood events" in areas between Wilmington and Charlotte.

Cooper said the state hasn't seen any Florence-related fatalities so far, but he's concerned about people's safety as the storm continues.

10 a.m.

Forecasters say the center of Hurricane Florence is hovering just inland near Cape Fear, North Carolina.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 mph, but stronger wind gusts have been reported.

At 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 55 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was crawling west-southwest at 3 mph, lifting huge amounts of ocean moisture and dumping it far from the coast.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

9:40 a.m.

Rising water forced a North Carolina TV station to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of Hurricane Florence coverage.

Hours before the storm made landfall Friday, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio.

A spokesperson for the ABC affliciate said roads around the building were flooding.

The weater service later measured a storm surge 10 feet deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast. It's about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. Friday.

Video posted on Twitter showed a meteorologist telling viewers they'd be taken to coverage from sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach.

Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.

9:15 a.m.

Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the U.S. are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded. The city tweeted early Friday that 150 people were awaiting rescue.

9 a.m.

Federal officials are urging anyone who ignored orders to evacuate from Hurricane Florence to hunker down and stay put until the storm passes.

And they say people who are truly in an emergency should call 911, not just Tweet about it.

The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. The Army Corps of Engineers were preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

8:30 a.m.

Wind speeds are kicking up far from the coast in central South Carolina as Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way along the coast.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 mph (34 kph) on Friday morning in Columbia.

That's about 220 miles from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. Friday, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Wind gusts as high as 60 mph were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

8:10 a.m.

Forecasters say the eye of Hurricane Florence is wobbling slowly southwestward just off the coast of southeastern North Carolina, near the border with South Carolina.

The hurricane's top sustained winds have dropped to 85 mph, while it moves slowly toward South Carolina at 6 mph.

At 8 a.m. the center of the hurricane was about 55 miles east of Myrtle Beach.

8 a.m.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the U.S. electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry says "we've done this many times before. We know how to manage expectations. We know how to prepare our plants for these types of major events."

Perry says his department has been in contact with power companies and gas pipeline operators. He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery."

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

7:15 a.m.

Hurricane Florence is dumping rain on North Carolina and pushing a storm surge taller than most humans onto communities near the coast.

The center of the eye of the hurricane made landfall in Wrightsville, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward just south of Wilmington.

Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power Friday morning according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

6:45 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 mph, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

6:15 a.m.

Forecasters say the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 mph, but a gust of 112 mph was reported just offshore.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

At 7 a.m., the center of the eye was located about 5 miles east of Wilmington, moving west at 6 mph.

6 a.m.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

Forecasters say "it cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland."

Top winds were holding at 90 mph — that's just a Category 1 hurricane — but some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast.

5 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and hurricane force winds.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 10 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement was 6 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

4:50 a.m.

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.

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.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

None of the people rescued were injured.

4 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and hurricane force winds.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 25 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement was 6 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

3:25 a.m.

A North Carolina city situated between two rivers says it has around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence.

WXII-TV reports the city of New Bern said Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued.

The National Hurricane Center says the Neuse River near the city is recording more than 10 feet of inundation. Roberts says the storm surge continues to increase as Florence passes over the area.

The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you."

3 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says the eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast.

As of 3 a.m., Florence was 30 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement was 6 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

2:30 a.m.

Life-threatening storm surge is being reported along the coast of the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3 feet of inundation. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles north of Wilmington.

As of 3 a.m., Florence hadn't moved and was still centered about 35 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Forecasters say the combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

1 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says that "catastrophic" freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence inches closer to the U.S. East Coast.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 mph by nightfall. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

As of 2 a.m., Florence was centered about 35 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 mph. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Forecasters say the combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

10 p.m. Thursday

Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come.

Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 mph by nightfall. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

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  • mrcharles
    September 14, 2018 at 1:09 p.m.

    Hopefully the feds will not help out any of these people. They choose to live there knowing this could happen. They need to take their own personal responsibility and look out for themselves.

    And as to the scientist , they say the column talks about the consensus of what scientist say will happen, but we know as with climate change science is not accurate , as bubba J. Statute, III knows better than some guy who studied for 30 years.

    Besides that trillion of gallons is just democrats trying to scare people..... did they consider the normal rainfall this area would get , bet they didnt, so the numbers appear inflated.

  • GeneralMac
    September 14, 2018 at 2:35 p.m.

    MrCharles.........why is it when we have FEW hurricanes, the AlGores are quick to say......." frequency/number of hurricanEs has NO CORRELATION to global warming/climate change ?

    When hurricanes are numerous, the AlGores say........" PROOF of global warming/climate change ".

  • mrcharles
    September 14, 2018 at 3:25 p.m.

    I believe you are not accurately stating the facts but after hearing of the deaths including a child I must say why was that allowed to happen by the sky magician. That is what ultimately matters.

  • titleist10
    September 14, 2018 at 6:17 p.m.

    Katrina-wide spread looting. Ike-hardly any looting

  • titleist10
    September 14, 2018 at 6:23 p.m.

    Should have said Hurricane Ike no looting-Hurricane Harvey no looting- Hurricane Katrina wide spread looting can you see the message

  • ARMNAR
    September 14, 2018 at 10:46 p.m.

    The message: titleist is an intellectually-stunted White Supremacist.

    What do I win for getting it right?

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