The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas

Hurricane Florence seen here early Thursday morning was downgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 2 storm

The big slosh has begun, and the consequences could be disastrous. Heavy rainfall began after dark.

The storm originally made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a category one hurricane. Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.

Satellite image taken on 14 September, 2018, shows Hurricane Florence hitting the United States east coast.

Hurricane expert Dr Rick Knabb warns: "Yes good news that intensity of Florence has come down, to lessen wind damage somewhat".

The weather event has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but forecasters still warn of life-threatening storm surges. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. Forecasters are also warning of catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

He warned residents to take precautions "because once this storm is upon us, we're not going to be able to send emergency personnel out to rescue you".

Trinidadians living overseas are vigorously preparing themselves for the hurricane.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia.

More news: Hurricane Florence closes in on USA east coast

Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. "You can't stop Mother Nature". Evacuation orders are in place in the Carolinas and Virginia, and Georgia is in a state of emergency. As she smoked a cigarette outside the shelter set up in a high school in Washington, Belanger they learned a lesson when they tried to ride out Hurricane Hugo in their home in 1989.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", he said at a news conference. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath.

As of 8:00 am (1200 GMT), the eye of the storm was 170 miles (275 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 12 mph. Tropical storm-force winds are forecast to hit the Carolinas Thursday evening, according to Business Insider.

Florence will unload up to 40 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina.

The storm has a wide reach, too. But previous research has shown that the strongest hurricanes are getting wetter, more intense and intensifying faster because of human-caused climate change.

Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

"We have prepared everything", he says, "to have enough food, water, batteries, radio, first-aid supplies, and everything we need to be safe".

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