"Catastrophic effects will be felt".
As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.
More than 80,000 people are already without power, and forecasters have warned that conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore in the early hours of Friday morning.
The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived on the East Coast of the U.S., where massive floods have already begun and as much asthe National Hurricane Center forecasts 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from the storm surge.
The center said the threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days. North Carolina will likely see eight months' worth of rain in two to three days, said National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear in a video briefing.
The effects of Hurricane Florence can already be felt along the coast of North Carolina as of 12 p.m. on September 13.
Warning of looming storm surges of nine to 12 feet (2.7-3.6 meters), he urged residents to take the storm seriously no matter the category, saying "this is all about the water, anyway". Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.
Abrams says he expects Hurricane Florence to bring 10 to 20 inches of rain in most places and that the Carolinas can expect extensive flooding.
"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".
Members of the Missouri Search and Rescue, part of FEMA, unload their gear at a staging area as Hurricane Florence starts to make landfall in Lealand, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018. He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered. By Friday morning Florence had already sapped power to almost 450,000 customers in the Carolinas, emergency officials said. Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor.
Rescue helicopters and trucks that can navigate floodwaters are also standing by.
Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.
A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States. "So if you're on the beach the time to go is now".
"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.
"There's going to be really nowhere for anybody to go", said Chief House with Wrightsville Beach Police.
"This is a life-threatening situation".
"We'll handle it. We're ready. We were able to evacuate quite a few; some did not go", he said.
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