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14 September 2018, 12:52 | Edward Lowe
"This is a powerful storm that can kill", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned as the storm began battering the coast Thursday.
Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 225 kph earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying category four to a two.
The company said as many as three-fourths of its 4 million customers in North Carolina and SC could lose power.
The National Hurricane Center said late Thursday that Florence has brought a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds to the North Carolina Coast.
The impact is expected to be similar to that of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston area past year, Feltgen said.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts that it could be centered over southwestern Pennsylvania by early Tuesday morning, potentially bringing more rain to Maryland and another surge of floodwaters down an already swollen Susquehanna River.
The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state.
We will have tropical storm force winds and rain and storm surge continues to be our main concern with extreme flooding.
Browning's choice to stay in the hurricane warning zone wasn't easy, she said, but she "could not find anywhere to go".
Florence is forecasted to to meander southward through SC after landfall, then it will eventually get caught in the upper level flow and move out of the region.
Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million to 3 million outages.
"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".
"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income".
Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.
He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered.
Residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states should consult local authorities for any evacuation orders and other preparation guidelines.
Another live stream at Wilmington Tower, which usually broadcasts sweeping views of the North Carolina landscape, shows storm clouds rolling in over the ocean.
Despite pleas from officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.
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"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", he said.
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Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm approached, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.
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There was also concern over crops. "It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners. At least 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been warned to evacuate, and others are hunkering down.