Watch a livestream of Hurricane Florence bearing down on North Carolina

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"The trio of storms is visible in this image acquired by the #SuomiNPP satellite". On an island like Puerto Rico, which has limited health care and other types of infrastructure, a hurricane's downstream effects can prove even more devastating than the initial surge.

"Just because the wind speeds came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Category 2, please do not let your guard down", said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. "That's why it's so scary".

It is predicted to deliver tropical-storm-force winds by noon Thursday to North Carolina's coast, and hurricane-force winds and unsafe storm surges by late Thursday or early Friday. McMullen says it will be like an average rainstorm when it arrives in our area.

"The larger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and impact, and we have that here", NHC Director Ken Graham said Thursday.

Right at the top is about the 17-foot (5.2 metre) floodwater line is 1954 storm Hurricane Hazel. As the storm moves inland it will find a relatively flat area for hundreds of miles.

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.

Updated NHC forecasts showed the storm lingering near the coast of the Carolinas, carrying days of heavy rains that could bring intense inland flooding from SC to Virginia.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in place from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina. Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor. People in the Carolinas had the daytime hours Thursday to complete their final preparations to ride out or escape the storm.

Storm surge is also the source of vast amounts of damage. While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles. Damaged or destroyed buildings are often rebuilt in the same surge-prone areas, with government aid, he said.

The storm's center was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night. In the tiny community of Sea Breeze near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptized because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" later. "I could not sit home and watch it on TV".

"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a Category 4 hurricane?" As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike. That's particularly unsafe because the ocean comes back quickly with 6 feet or more of water. But if the aquarium is not full, it's only a ripple. Higher seas mean higher surge.

This morning, the radar loop out of Morehead North Carolina is beginning to show those fans of heavy rain closing in on the coast.

The shape of the coastline is another factor.

"It's getting late to evacuate", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. "But even worse than that is coming back in because you don't know what you're coming back to". Chris Pack, a spokesman for the group, said it was airing ads on the channel aimed at viewers in Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Nevada and West Virginia, all key races in the increasingly tight battle for control of the Senate.