Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 1 storm

NASA Hurricane Florence

A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday. Greenville station WITN said a 78-year-old man was electrocuted while he was trying to connect two extension cords in the rain. It's believed he died after he was blown down while going outside to check on his dogs.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.

Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plan to close even if power was lost, and there were lines to get in on Thursday evening. The number of people still not rescued fell to about 40 by Friday afternoon, according to New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw.

In its 0300 GMT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the maximum sustained winds of Florence were 150kph, dropping it to the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The final update on that system from the NHC came on Wednesday at 2 a.m. - at that time, it was heading west at 15 km/h. One person even said "It takes the kids minds off of it at least".

Many thousand more power customers were without electricity in northeastern South Carolina Friday night.

Does it matter that Florence is moving slowly?

North Carolina had 108 shelters open, and SC reported having 56 shelters open on Thursday morning, as the storm loomed toward the coast.

That scenario has a high probability of occurring in much of North Carolina, a large portion of SC and parts of northern Georgia.

Because hurricane force winds extend 130 km from the center, people on land will experience sharply deteriorating conditions long before the center reaches the coast.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

Landslide crashes on to tourist beach on Zante
The water hit his feet with such a strong force, it knocked him onto his back and went on to cover more than half the beach . O'Connell described the piece of rock that fell as being as big as a four-storey building, crashing down onto the beach .

Noting the heavy bands on the hurricane's northeast quadrant, he added, "We are on the bad side of this storm". "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said Thursday.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding in Virginia and the Carolinas.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

In certain parts of the North Carolina and South Carolina coastline (particularly the Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC area), storm surges are predicted to be higher than ten feet.

On the Outer Banks, some people are preparing to ride out the storm, despite an evacuation order.

The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Advisory: Official information issued by warning centers describing all tropical cyclone watches and warnings in effect, along with details about location, intensity and movement. Meanwhile, the storm is forecast to move sluggishly over the Carolinas before turning northwest.

Sprayberry delivered one of his final briefings before the storm hit on Thursday as Hurricane Florence began her dramatic descent.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence's expected track and impacts to the U.S.

By hovering over the warm water in the Atlantic Ocean, the storm is being nourished.

Rain was falling on the coast Thursday morning from the clouds on the farthest edges of the hurricane.

Joyce, which is about 1,040 miles from the Azores, is moving south-southwest near 7 mph.

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