Hurricane Florence warnings and watches encompassed nearly all of North and SC, with tropical storm warnings and watches reaching north to the Virginia state line.
Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018.
Florence's nighttime winds were down to 115 miles per hour (185 kph) from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), and the Category 4 storm fell to a Category 3, with a further slow weakening expected as the storm nears the coast.
Latest reports have the center of Florence approaching the coasts of North and SC on Thursday.
As of Tuesday, more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
North Alabama stays on the "dry" side of the storm for the duration; however, the wind will pick up from Friday through the weekend (north at 10-20 miles per hour on average), and some showers are possible by Sunday and Monday as the western edge of Florence's "influence" spreads clouds and some rain this direction.
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump said the government "got A Pluses" for storm recovery in Texas and Florida and "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico".
Several schools in the FOX8 viewing area have closings and delays this week ahead of Hurricane Florence.
Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., said the hurricane is looking like a major event.
For 62 years, Robert Faircloth has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. "It's going to happen". Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.
"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners.
"We're a good community up there".
Some of the people escaping the potential wrath of Hurricane Florence are finding shelter here in Northeast Ohio.
Sib McLellan, left, and his wife, Lisa, prepare for Hurricane Florence. When Hurricane Floyd made landfall near Cape Fear in 1999 as a Category 2 storm, bloated carcasses of hundreds of thousands of hogs, chickens and other drowned livestock bobbed in a nose-stinging soup of fecal matter, pesticides, fertilizer and gasoline so toxic that fish flopped helplessly to escape it. The flooding in southeast North Carolina and northeast SC might be "unprecedented", according to the agency.
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