Eastern Time on Thursday.
Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.
Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach between one-to-three million across both North and SC for days and possibly weeks. Except - and we don't mean to jinx it - but the storm *is* heading further south from here and the wind did die down a bit so who is to say it didn't work entirely? Millions of people were expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks. The actual landfall - when the center of the eye reaches land - will be Friday afternoon at the earliest, said Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The National Weather Service said as much as 18cm of rain had fallen overnight in some coastal areas. The storm is expected to linger, dumping several centimeters of rain in affected areas and causing widespread destruction.
"They say if you stay (home), it's at your own risk", she said, noting that emergency services personnel said they could not risk their lives rescuing anyone who had disregarded official evacuation notices. The coast of the Carolinas is about middle of the road with about 4 to 5 feet of difference (1.2 to 1.5 meters) between high and low tides. The 2.6-magnitude quake was the state's fifth this year.
More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.
Most of the coastal region's airports closed Thursday, with no flights expected until at least Saturday.
Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, United States. Southwest Airlines canceled its Charlotte schedule on Thursday, effective through "early morning Saturday". Some recreational boats remained in the water. Customers have included police from nearby Myrtle Beach, an employee told Bradley. More rain could prove to be devastating.
But past year, even with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, no one in the United States died of storm surge, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced. Among those feeling the impact of the stormwere local farmers, whose tobacco and corn harvests had not been completed.
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It's been a rough beginning for Cardiff , as they've only managed to secure two points in their first four games. For the moment, I'm really very happy to stay here. "We need another step to be at the same level".
More than 22,600 people in North Carolina were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.
"We may have 60 percent of the tobacco harvested in North Carolina". But given the storm's size and sluggish track, meteorologists warned that it could cause epic damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m.
Parts of the Mid-Atlantic states can also expect heavy rains from what is left of Florence well into next week.
But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.
Another said she was watching the forecasts, and would be ready to pack up and leave at the last minute if she had to. "Plan to be without power for days".
"I hope they made the right decision".
NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km). That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated.
The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia could see 5 to 10 inches, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches. Massive evacuations were ordered along the state's barrier islands and in cities and towns along the direct path as a result.