WHAT'S HAPPENING: Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast

US East Coast braces for Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Tropical Storm Florence is crawling slowly across SC as life-threatening storm surges and strong winds are expected to continue overnight, amid a rising inland flood threat.

At 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 55 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence was "forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday".

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

McMaster told reporters Thursday that up to 7 inches of rain in the state's northwestern mountains could mean landslides and risky conditions.

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It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. The Weather Channel estimated that up to 3 million customers might lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.

"We're talking about days, potentially weeks", Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said Wednesday night on CNN Tonight.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

This is the third time SC has had to cancel a game due to weather in the last four years. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

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Trudeau, for his part, added that: "we're just going to stay working constructively to get to that win-win-win that we know is there".

"I am anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said. "It's going to happen".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

Forecasters at the hurrican center warned that as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain could fall on some parts of North Carolina, with a storm surge of up to 4 meters (13 feet).

"I've never seen the president and all these other people talk the way they're talking", he said while waiting for an evacuation bus.

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's going to get worse", he said at a news conference in Raleigh. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together".

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the US electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm.

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Portions of a boat dock and boardwalk are destroyed by powerful wind and waves as Hurricane Florence arrives September 13, 2018, in Atlantic Beach, N.C. REUTERS/Randall HillResidents prepare a house with storm shutters ahead of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14. Hurricane Helene is threatening no one in the Atlantic. The two-lane highway is the only route to the mainland other than ferries.

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