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Being such a small number, first responders have made clear to them the situation when the storm makes its expected complete landfall by 8 a.m. Friday morning.
"This is a very unsafe storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground. The father of the child was transported to a nearby hospital with injuries.
If Florence doesn't wipe out oceanfront homes perched on stilts along the Carolinas coast, rising sea levels will. Florence is hitting low-lying barrier islands that experience some of the fastest rates of sea level rise observed anywhere in the world, almost an inch (2.5 centimeters) a year. A fourth person was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said.
Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence's expected track and impacts to the U.S. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet. CoreLogic noted at the time of its advisory that SC is not included in the table as it is not expected to exceed tropical storm force winds based on the projected track.
The outer bands of the storm were already reaching the coast Thursday, bringing tropical-force winds and rain.
Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday at 100 miles per hour (170 km per hour) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 mph (224 kph) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm.
"Don't relax. Don't get complacent", said Gov. Roy Cooper.
More than 22,600 people in North Carolina were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.
He said he usually doesn't make the pizzas himself, but he was on Thursday because "everybody is scared", including most of his staff. Poor people are less likely to evacuate since they can't afford to travel and stay in other regions. "Many that will accept them only allow one per room".
Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence
Tropical storm-force winds extended 195 miles from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles. Wind and the tidal surge will be the biggest issues for airports in the coastal Carolinas, FlightAware's Orsi said.
Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighbourhoods.
The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.
Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington.
"It's insane", he said in a phone interview.
Zookeepers and veterinarians resolved to hunker down with the creatures and see them through the storm.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 80 miles from the centre, and tropical storm effects reach 195 miles, The Independent reported.now less than 100 miles from Wilmington, North Carolina, the "meandering" Florence has been described as a "horrific nightmare storm" because meteorologists can not pinpoint where it will strike.
Duke Energy, the major power supplier for North and SC, told the New York Times on Wednesday that the storm could knock out power for up to 3 million customers across the two states.
The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state. That count is expected to rise significantly.
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. "We might leave", she said. "I'm a little bit scared right now, but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".