Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

"Do not let your guard down with the changing #Florence forecast".

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned residents not to "underestimate" the storm.

"Please hear my message", he says.

"We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge".

Don't relax, don't get complacent. This is a powerful storm that can kill.

Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 storm as it approaches landfall in the United States - but it is very slow moving and could linger the coastline bringing catastrophic flooding and heavy losses to insurers.

In North Carolina, the Wilmington International Airport said it "sustained a lot of leaks from the wind and rain" on Friday and was struggling to restore power. Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315km.

He urged people in the coastal Carolinas and living near inland rivers to evacuate now. "Your time is running out".

Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said.

Meteorologists warn the storm may be one of the worst to hit the region in decades and could potentially be the worst to hit ever.

The National Hurricane Center noted the following at 11 a.m.: "Florence is moving toward the northwest near 10 miles per hour (17 km/h)".

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Trump approves North Carolina disaster declaration for Florence
More than 360 people were rescued from the flooding by crews in boats, some flown in from NY and other areas of the US. By Friday evening, the eye of the storm had moved to SC . "WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2am.

Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears
It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina. Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland.

The National Hurricane Center, which called these levels "catastrophic", has created a augmented reality tool that helps visualize how severe the storm surge could be.

"This Hurricane is bringing some rain and water that we have not seen before in Hurricane", McMaster said, "Winds may match that of Hugo, but Florence may bring more rain".

Adding to concerns, forecasters warned the larger and slow-moving storm could linger for days around the coast, leaving many without power and supplies.

Tornadoes also remain a threat, particularly in areas northeast of the hurricane's eye.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

Hurricane Florence strengthened a bit, but then tapped on the brakes as it approached the North Carolina coast Thursday evening.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 195 miles from the center.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference.

Brenda Bethune told NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning that public safety crews have been checking to make sure businesses are secure, and looking for anything that could become a projectile as the winds come ashore.

About 10 million people live in the path of the slow-moving storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said. That was a sharp increase from the almost 300 cancellations reported at 8:10 a.m. ET, indicating airlines scrubbed a new round of flights as it became apparent operations would take longer to resume than anticipated at some airports along the coast.

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