Hurricane Florence’s 3-day wrath on the Carolinas begins today

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Winds and waves began battering the Carolinas on Thursday as officials warned that Hurricane Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the US East Coast.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Meteorologists for days have watched Florence grow in size, allowing its hurricane and tropical-storm-force winds to spread far out from the center of the storm.

Still says residents "can expect to have that wind to the tune of 100 mph-plus stay on us for considerable period of time". "I'm going to Charlotte". The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.

"Sometime on Friday afternoon, Friday evening or Saturday morning", Goldstein said.

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The storm will be a test of President Donald Trump's administration less than two months before elections that will determine control of Congress and after severe criticism for its handling of last year's Hurricane Maria, which killed some 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.

Windows and doors are boarded up in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Florence September 12, 2018 in Morehead City, North Carolina.

"This is a very unsafe storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said. On the inland side facing the river, Cramer says rising waters will likely be "lapping at the first floor of our elevated homes".

Hurricane Florence is preparing to bear down on the Carolinas, with the storm's path posed to move up the U.S. Southeast.

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.

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SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

As the storm moves in further onto USA soil, it is projected to affect states as far west as in and as far north as MI.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore. Cooper thanked them and their families for answering the call to duty during a natural disaster. "The infrastructure is going to break, the power is going to go out". Storm surge of 13 feet on top of a high tide at 7 feet could overwhelm Carolina Beach. "In light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall, I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas".

Eight entire counties and portions of others in North Carolina are under mandatory evacuation orders.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.

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"I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in the path of Hurricane Florence", Deal said.

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