ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

Hurricane Florence Is 50 Miles Larger with 50% More Rain Thanks to Climate Change

Hurricane Florence has weakened somewhat early Thursday as its outer bands approach the North Carolina coast, but weather officials cautioned that the storm will still bring life-threatening conditions. Pieces of buildings ripped apart by the storm flew through the air.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

The powerful storm inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power.

Graham said areas that repeatedly get hit even with weaker winds at Florence's edges could see heavy rainfall for hours.

The US National Hurricane Center described how winds of up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour were pummeling the state of North Carolina.

He said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 200 miles out.

Those winds will die down quickly as Florence moves over land, but the rain will persist.

To put the rain in perspective, Wilmington's three-day rainfall record was 19.66 inches set in 2010, said Jordan Baker, a meteorologist with the NWS Wilmington office.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, a steady rain began to fall as gusts of winds intensified, causing trees to sway and stoplights to flicker.

The maximum sustained winds had dropped to 100 mph, but tropical-force winds extended up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

She also said residents don't need to live next to a river or creek to experience catastrophic flooding in their basements. Flooding from rain and rising rivers also was reported in New Bern. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way.

As the storm continues to track toward western North Carolina and upstate SC, heavy rains in the mountains could trigger mudslides due to the region's topography, Cline added. "I mean this takes a long time to move through the Carolinas".

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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, 'The time to prepare is nearly over. An additional 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

The Hurricane Florence has began to unleash fierce rains across the USA southeast.

About 10 million people could be affected by the 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.

In all, an estimated 10 million people live in areas expected to be placed under a hurricane or storm advisory, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm makes its way slowly inland.

What damage will it cause?

Trump faced severe criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria past year in Puerto Rico.

Not everyone was taking Florence too seriously: About two dozen locals gathered Thursday night behind the boarded-up windows of The Barbary Coast bar as Florence blew into Wilmington.

"This is our only home".

Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable.

"But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".

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