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Hurricane Florence, heading for the Carolinas, "will likely be the storm of a lifetime" for areas of the coast, according to the National Weather Service early Wednesday.

Florence, now a Category 2 hurricane, is forecast to unleash extreme storm surge, possibly historic flooding rains, and damaging winds in the Carolinas beginning Thursday.

Duke Energy officials say Florence will knock out power to an estimated 1 million to 3 million customers in North and SC. "Everyone was sold out", she said.

"Storms like that don't usually make it that far west".

One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 115 cm in parts of North Carolina.

"Been through it!" Belli said, referring to Hurricane Hugo, which caused widespread damage in SC in 1989.

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

All eyes are on Hurricane Florence as it barrels towards the Carolinas. The Category 4 storm is likely to produce "catastrophic" flooding in the eastern Carolinas, as well as destructive winds. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely risky storm for rain and storm surge.

"Do not focus on the wind speed category of #Hurricane #Florence!" the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning.

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Hurricane florence is the most powerful storm to emerge from the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.

Panovich: Right now it looks like landfall is going to occur sometime early Friday morning between, I would say, 4 a.m. and probably about 8 a.m., but it might actually never make it all the way in.

According to analytics firm CoreLogic, the hurricane could wreak more than $170billion (£130billion) in havoc and damage almost 759,000 homes and businesses.

Hurricanes have a lot of water and if the storm is moving at 10 or 15 miles per hour then it would rain itself out over a much larger area, spreading its rainfall over multiple states instead of just a couple.

"People do not live and survive to tell the tale about what their experience is like with storm surge", Long said.

The White House has approved requests from North Carolina and SC for federal emergency declarations, allowing for greater coordination among states and federal agencies.

Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out. "We expect this storm to be with us for days". "I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

About 1.7 million people have already been told to leave their homes in the latter three states, but some who thought they were safely out of the path of the storm are now desperately working to board up their homes and businesses before its arrival.


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