The Weather Channel Goes All In With Apocalyptic Hurricane Florence Graphics

Florence, which is now a slow-moving Category 2 storm, is expected to linger over the Carolinas before turning north and sliding into western Virginia. And even though meteorologists sort storms into categories by the strength of their winds, it's actually the storm surge that's most risky, as AccuWeather reported.

More than a million people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.

Top winds were holding at 90 miles per hour - thats just a Category 1 hurricane - but some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast.

High winds and downed power lines are another concern for that region.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies.

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Cat 2, please do not let your guard down", said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Today, the threat becomes a reality".

"Don't relax, don't get complacent". Gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods. Up to 10 feet of storm surge is expected, while some of the inlets can see up to 15 feet. "I just figured come here and be safe". "We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

Hurricane Florence is slowing down as its outer bands of wind and rain lash North Carolina's barrier islands. Highway 12 is still closed in Dare County.

WXII-TV reported that 150 people were waiting to be rescued from rising waters in the city New Bern.

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm's strength should continue through Thursday.

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend", the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update. We'll invite in our federal partners - Florence, excuse me, ' said, possibly after being corrected.

Trump faced severe criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria past year in Puerto Rico.

A weather station at a community college recorded a 100 miles per hour wind gust, and forecasters tweeted that a 91 miles per hour wind gust slammed into Wilmington's airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

Trump provided no evidence to support his challenge on Maria.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

The first large power outage in the Wilmington area also occurred Thursday morning, with the Duke outage map showing almost 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area of Columbus County and northwest Brunswick County without power.

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