More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Florenceā€™s quiet potential disaster: Hog manure

As Hurricane Florence, a unsafe Category 1 storm, continues on its path toward the East Coast, surf cameras are showing the live impact the storm is having on the Carolinas.

Hurricane-force winds began whipping North Carolina as federal emergency management officials warned that the hurricane remained a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast.

Some forecasters have predicted it could be the most powerful storm ever to hit the region.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet high as Florence churned toward shore.

But the real threat from Florence isn't from wind, it's from water, with the National Hurricane Center warning of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall".

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

In Carolina Beach, North Carolina, authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland. Up to 10 feet of storm surge is expected, while some of the inlets can see up to 15 feet. Florence is expected to arrive in southeast North Carolina on Friday morning before drifting south into SC.

Using computer graphics The Weather Channel showed how far inland Hurricane Florence's surge can reach, following low-lying streams. As if the storm itself is not risky enough, it is expected to spawn tornadoes in southeast North Carolina on Thursday and Friday.

"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

Tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday.

After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria. Cooper and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told more than 1 million people who were directed to leave that if they don't evacuate, no one will come to save them.

"But we can't replace us so we made a decision to come here".

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (4m) have been forecast in some areas when the monster storm eventually makes landfall in North and SC.

Yesterday, Dr Greg Postel, the network's hurricane specialist, said three feet (0.9m) of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings.

At the time of writing, over 116,000 people were watching the storm approach the tower, which "is a privately owned surplus Coast Guard Light Station", that also doubles as a "unique adventure bed & breakfast" when the weather is more appropriate.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate - but the window to do so in nearly over.

It is expected to impact Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

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

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