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Watch live streaming video of Hurricane Florence rolling into North Carolina

14 September 2018

The Hurricane Florence has began to unleash fierce rains across the USA southeast.

In Wilmington, resident Michael Wilson fortified his home against the wind and rain, and anxious.

Even though Florence has weakened to a Category 2 system with winds of 165 kilometers per hour, forecasters say the storm remains a destructive force.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

Another live stream at Wilmington Tower, which usually broadcasts sweeping views of the North Carolina landscape, shows storm clouds rolling in over the ocean.

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

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence, a large and unsafe Category 2 storm and one of 9 deadly storms circling the globe, landed on the North Carolina coast Thursday morning (local time).

Forecast models predict Florence's center may slow to a crawl just off North Carolina early Friday and make a southwesterly turn - punishing the coast while moving perhaps only 2 to 3 miles per hour. Then, it will likely hover along the coast on Saturday (Sunday NZT), pushing up to 4m of storm surge and dumping 50 to 75cm of rain on both states, before slogging over the Appalachian Mountains.

The result could be what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago: catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

You may have heard about Hurricane Florence, the storm careering towards the USA east coast prompting warnings of an impending disaster.

That said, the storm is still expected to stall once it hits the Wilmington coast, with weather officials early Thursday raising the expected total rainfall for Wilmington to 35 inches - weather officials had predicted 30 inches for Wilmington in briefings released Wednesday. One emergency official said it will be a "Mike Tyson punch" to the area.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the program, requires most homeowners with mortgages living in flood-prone areas to buy coverage.

A power outage model run at the University of MI projects that 3.2 million customers will be without electricity because of the storm, mostly in the eastern half of North Carolina. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

We have the greatest fans in the country and I think that moving this game up, they all want to see the game, they all want to see us play, they all want to be here on campus, but they all understand that we have their safety in mind and that's why we've moved the game up.

Hurricane Florence pushes its way towards the Carolinas coast.

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the evacuation of most of the state's coastline as the storm approaches.

He said he's going to spend Thursday with friends at a local beachfront restaurant and bar, and once the storm arrives, he'll watch it from his back porch.

Florence has forced people to cut their holidays short along the coast, while the storm's projected path includes half a dozen nuclear power plants, pits holding coal-ash and other industrial waste, and numerous pig farms that store animal waste in huge lagoons.

With their entire neighbourhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle. "We just need to figure out how to make it through". "We're going to stay tight and check on everybody", he said. Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees.

FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC.

Watch live streaming video of Hurricane Florence rolling into North Carolina