Despite the hurricane losing wind intensity since its peak as a Category 4, it has grown substantially in overall size and its predicted deceleration in forward speed will take a costly toll. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".
The 11 p.m. ET National Hurricane Center update warned of "catastrophic freshwater flooding" in parts of North and SC, and of continuing life-threatening storm surges and strong winds overnight as Florence moves slowly west-southwestward over extreme eastern SC.
Being such a small number, first responders have made clear to them the situation when the storm makes its expected complete landfall by 8 a.m. Friday morning.
According to Fitch Ratings, the pre-landfall forecasts for Florence suggest that the hurricane could linger over the Carolina coastal area after its arrival, which could expose the region to an extended period of strong gusts, heavy coastal storm surge, and rainfall-induced flooding (both coastal and inland).
The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 13, 2018.
The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.
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.
With recent official reports finding that last year's Hurricane Maria claimed almost 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico-an assertion that re-emerged onto the national spotlight Thursday after President Donald Trump, without providing evidence, alleged that those estimates were artificially inflated and politically motivated-it's worth exploring what it is that ultimately kills people, including the most vulnerable, when a hurricane strikes.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.
Forecasters predict as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses. The water they hold is then deposited as rainfall, bringing catastrophic flooding, property damage and loss of life.
Florence is battering the North Carolina coast - flooding beach town roads from the Outer Banks to Carolina Beach. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.
At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Governor Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.
Most city and county offices in coastal SC were closed by Wednesday, with emergency services still in place.
The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very risky winds".
After spreading rain westward to the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas, torrential rain is forecast to reach parts of the northeastern US next week.
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.
The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who chose to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.
"We have completed all of our water rescues & want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who helped us save lives". "We'll handle it. We're ready". "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said. "I've got four cats inside the house".
While Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm, it remains unpredictable according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). "Plan to be without power for days".