As Hurricane Florence nears, live surf cam videos show impact on Carolinas

Another video from NOAA's GOES-East weather satellite caught a different view of Hurricane Florence.

Footage shows a pier and a beach in Nags Head, North Carolina, being hit with heavy surf as the storm rolls into the area. These sustained winds will continue through much of the weekend.

Just yesterday, weather models indicated that Florence would be shifting its course, embarking on a "big, grand tour" of the southeastern United States, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) meteorologist Kevin Scasny said in a statement. The center of the hurricane will remain close to the coast Friday, "with much of the circulation still over water".

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management. Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever-increasing accuracy who will get walloped.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday (Friday NZT), bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 155 kph winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend. Outer bands from the hurricane were lashing land on Thursday, at least a full day before the National Hurricane Center expects the slow-moving storm's eye to blow ashore around the North Carolina-South Carolina line. Isolated areas could get 40 inches.

Even though the storm may weaken to a Category 1 or Category 2 storm, widespread damage is expected.

The expected heavy rainfall would produce both flash flooding and river flooding that could in turn cause an environmental disaster, if the water inundates the region's many industrial waste sites and hog manure ponds. "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning. South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who chose to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information. Although the rain totals won't be very high, those living in flood zones have been encouraged to evacuate.

As the last-minute evacuations and preparations of those who refuse to leave wound down, an eerie calm has settled over typically bustling Carolina cities. "They pulled out all the furniture out of the yard".

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

The Pentagon has dispatched two ships and a Marine unit offshore to provide help if needed.

Virginia remains under a state of emergency.

That's because the weather systems that usually push and pull a storm are disappearing as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC. More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. "Now is not the time to let down our guard", he said.

While such preparations were no longer warranted in Maryland, emergency officials still went through the motions of storm readiness.

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