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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water, Reuters reports.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. Thursday update that Florence had weakened to a Category 1 storm.

Areas along the SC coast, including Myrtle Beach, reported power outages Friday morning and early afternoon.

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period.

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

It is the storm's movement and not its strength that has forecasters and officials anxious.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 miles per hour (9 km/h).

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded. The rainfall will cause prolonged significant river flooding.

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And because Hurricane Florence has the potential to stall, it could inflict a lot more damage and cause more severe flooding in North Carolina than Floyd did 19 years ago.

Tropical Storm Florence trudged inland on Saturday, flooding rivers and towns, toppling trees and cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses as it dumped huge amounts of rain on North and SC, where five people have died. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

The storm is 50 miles from Morehead City and 70 miles from Wilmington. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian Mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

A man also died while plugging in a generator in Pender County, and rescue crews were unable to reach a woman who had suffered a heart attack.

Despite days of warnings to evacuate, some residents are staying put - even if they don't want to.

Gov. Roy Cooper of the Tar Heel state announced a State of Emergency ahead of the storm making its way to the coast. Other residents have told CNN they're not evacuating because emergency shelters won't accept pets.

Vereen was taking that recommendation at face value - she and her children live in a mobile home in an open field, with nothing to protect it from the hurricane.

"There's going to be really nowhere for anybody to go", said Chief House with Wrightsville Beach Police. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

Regardless of whether or not Florence moves inland swiftly or stalls, unsafe surf conditions will extend as far to the north as Nova Scotia, as far to the south as the east-central Florida coast and the northeast-facing shoreline of the Bahamas and as far to the east as Bermuda.


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