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Still closer to Africa than North America, Hurricane Helene is predicted to head northeast in the Atlantic, then veer toward Europe, the center said. "Some wind, no rain and rising sun".

Meanwhile, the projections for rain are growing, adding to growing concerns about flooding across the two states: Coastal North Carolina now expects 20-30 inches, with isolated areas of 40 inches projected in SC.

While Hurricane Florence has sparked state of emergency and mass evacuation, a very unfortunate weather graphic has managed to put a smile on those preparing for the storm. The storm is expected to slow down and possibly stall near or over the coast on Friday. Joyce, too, is expected to weaken at the start of the work week.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

Observation stations at the coast recorded wind speeds of more than 80 miles per hour, the advisory said. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for much of the SC and North Carolina coastline.

"Florence is forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the US coast", the NHC said.

It is presently located about 965 km east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

Storm surges are one of a hurricane's most risky effects.

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A sailor heaves line in preparation ahead of Hurricane Florence at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, September 11, 2018. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses could be flooded in North Carolina alone, Governor Cooper said. "It's going to happen".

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Suddenly, the official toll was revised to 2,975, reflecting the results of a study done by George Washington University. Mr Trump said people who died for any reason - "like old age" - had been added to the total. "Bad politics.

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Federer lost in the fourth round in NY , while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee. Open - and outside the top 400 as recently as May, following the former No. 1's time away because she had a baby.

The country's No. 2 power company said Wednesday that it's anticipating 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses could lose power for lengthy periods, depending on the storm's track.

That's more than eight stories tall, for reference.

A southerly wind continues to freshen into the evening, becoming strong to gale in exposed parts of the North and West after dark.

Florence, which was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane overnight, officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach shortly before 7:45 a.m. Although Olivia is expected to move over the islands as a tropical storm, it could still bring worse impacts than recent Hurricane Lane to some areas, the center said.

Trump has urged those in the path of Hurricane Florence to act now to 'get out of its way'.

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at 105 miles per hour (nearly 170 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.

There are 5.25 million people under hurricane warnings and watches and another 4.89 million under tropical storm watches and warnings.