Hurricane Florence PHOTOS: Flooding wreaks havoc in North Carolina ahead of landfall

NASA footage shows the 'nightmare' Hurricane Florence

The outer edge of Hurricane Florence began buffeting the Carolinas with wind and rain on Thursday as forecasters warned the monster storm would trigger life-threatening flooding as it assaults the U.S. east coast.

Hurricane Florence will be one of the biggest storms to make landfall along the U.S. eastern seaboard in decades.

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, warning people not to be complacent just because the storm's winds had diminished.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

That's because in addition to the extensive flooding, the hurricane is expected to knock out power along the coast, according to an analysis done by a team headed by Seth Guikema, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of MI.

Hurricane Florence is being seen as a monster of a storm zeroing in on the Southeastern coast with more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights. There will not be any games being played close to the shoreline this weekend, understandably. "It's a big one".

About 10 million people live in the storm's path and more than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia. Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed. The two hardware chains said they had sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

West Point area could start to feel effects of Hurricane Florence Thursday
US President Donald Trump has authorised emergency measures to free up federal funds to help those responding to the storm. The storm was about 235 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and was moving at about 17 mph on Thursday.

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Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington monitored the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said.

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

A storm covering an enormous area, to drench and lash more people.

Higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse.

O'Shaughnessy, head of US Northern Command, said search and rescue would be a top priority, but weather may prevent rescuers from getting in during the hours immediately after the storm hits.

With South Carolina's beach towns more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

"The longer it stays, the more wind, the more rain". "Also, a little creepy".

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