Hurricane Florence Storm Surge: The Craziest Videos & Photos

Campaigns target Weather Channel as Florence bears down

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA-Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane "Florence," a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights as it zeroes in on the United States southeast coast.

The bulk of the three media briefings held by police chief Dan House surrounded how they were still anticipating the serious and catastrophic storm surge as well as hurricane force winds.

Since issuing a mandatory evacuation order Wednesday, nearly all of the more than 2500 residents left the island.

Preceded first by the storm surge and the winds, heavy rains were picking up as of late Thursday afternoon, the beginning of an onslaught that for some areas may not relent for days.

"It is scary. When somebody tells you something like that, it's my cue to get out". "We are going to hunker down and stay safe and not stay in mobiles and we will be OK". "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that".

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

"If I am, I hope God protects us".

Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday at 100mph as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140mph earlier this week when it was classified as a Category 4.

Allison James who lives in Huntersville, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina said that based on reports this area would not be directly affected.

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Some areas in the Myrtle Beach/Wilmington area could see as much as 40 inches of rain with storm surges between 9 and 13 feet, overwhelming many beachfront areas and low-lying islands.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. "Today the threat becomes a reality", according to The Associated Press.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.

Residents are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and communities with financial struggles are slow to rebuild after a major disaster.

As Florence drew near, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

Long said the danger was not only along the coast.

Conditions are rapidly deteriorating along the coast of the Carolinas as Florence approaches.

It was downgraded Friday afternoon to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph (110 kph) before its core slogged into coastal SC hours later. The National Weather Service measured storm surge in New Bern at 10 feet (3 meters) deep. Poor people are less likely to evacuate since they can't afford to travel and stay in other regions.

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