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Authorities are warning US coastal residents in the path of Hurricane Florence to evacuate now or be at the mercy of the Category 3 storm, which is expected to slow upon hitting the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and ravage the region with storm surge, rainfall, and flooding.

Hurricane Florence continued to weaken Thursday, but the National Hurricane Center warned there will still be extreme impacts from feet of rainfall in the Carolinas for days.

Yes, this is a very unsafe storm, and everyone in its path needs to heed the warnings from their local government officials, but the President may want to leave the weather commentary to the professionals. With maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, she is now a category two system - no longer a "major" hurricane. It is now at Category 1.

With landfall now expected Friday morning somewhere along the southeastern coast of North Carolina, we'll begin feeling winds pick up by as early as Thursday night across the Piedmont.

Hurricane Florence is already being called the storm of a lifetime in certain parts of the Carolinas and officials throughout the southeast corridor are warning residents if they don't evacuate now - they are on their own.

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

For 62 years, Robert Faircloth has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren, of Savannah, Georgia, crashes into waves in the surf bolstered by the incoming Hurricane Florence on the south beach of Tybee Island, Georgia.

All four major United States airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

"Since my husband retired and my health declined, we have his retirement as an income". This general motion, accompanied by a further decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue through today. Hurricane-force winds were blowing 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 195 miles (315 kilometers) from the eye.

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

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A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for... Now, there are signs that Hurricane Florence could deliver a similar blow to the East Coast beginning on Thursday, making it even more important to evacuate before the storm arrives.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

Police patrol past boarded up shops along the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Florence's arrival.

The National Guard is on standby in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to deal with emergencies as they arise.

The power company serves about 4 million people in this region, meaning they expect between about 25 and 75 percent of their Carolina customers to be impacted.

Numerous communities throughout the region have issued either mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders. Tranters Creek near Washington, North Carolina is experiencing minor flooding, and the town is suffering as a result.

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".

"I built this house myself, so I'm not anxious at all, I know it's solid", he said.

"The only thing missing in there is a hot lady".