Blowing winds, torrential rains, rising rivers: Florence is leaving a path of destruction as it batters the Carolinas.
The monster hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday afternoon and weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday.
The deadly storm has killed at least 17 people in the Carolinas, including a woman and her baby when a tree fell on a home in Wilmington Friday morning after Florence made landfall around 7:15 a.m. A woman died from a heart attack in Pender County. Two men, both 78, died in Lenoir County. One was killed trying to plug in a generator, the other died when he was knocked over by the wind trying to check on his hunting dogs, according to news reports.
The National Hurricane Center is warning that Florence, which has slowed to a crawl, will bring “catastrophic” flooding to the Carolinas through the weekend.
Update 1:07 a.m. EDT Sept. 17
The live updates on this page have concluded. Please visit WSOCTV.com for the latest coverage of Florence’s aftermath in the Carolinas.
Update 11:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 16
Death toll rises to 17
The death toll from Hurricane Florence increased to 17 including a 3-month-old who died when a tree landed on a mobile home.
Kade Gill was on a couch with his parents around 12:45 p.m. when the tree landed on the home as the remnants of Florence continued to pummel the Carolinas.
"We was watching the trees in the back that's leaning, but I guess the whole time we were watching the wrong one," mother Tammy Gill said.
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT Sept. 16
Floodwaters cut off Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina, has been completely cut off by floodwaters, WRAL reported Sunday. Officials are seeking additional help from state law enforcement and the National Guard, the television station reported.
At a news conference Sunday, Woody White, chairman of board of commissioners in New Hanover County, said that Saturday night’s rain made roads into Wilmington impassable, WRAL said.
Update 12:13 p.m. EDT Sept. 16
Mandatory flood evacuations ordered
Officials in Pender County, North Carolina, issued mandatory evacuations for residents living near the Black River and the Northeast Cape Fear River, WECT reported.
“If you had flooding along the Northeast Cape Fear River during Hurricane Floyd, you need to evacuate now,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency manager. “If you had flooding during Hurricane Matthew, you need to evacuate.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted Sunday that the storm “has never been more dangerous than it is now. Many rivers are still rising, and are not expected to crest until later today or tomorrow.
“Be ready to head to higher ground if you need to evacuate,” Cooper tweeted.
Update 10:01 a.m. EDT Sept. 16
Death toll rises to 14
The death toll from Florence has risen to 14, officials told United Press International, while nearly 1 million are without power as waters continue to rise in the Carolinas.
The death toll included 11 in North Carolina and three in South Carolina, officials said.
Update 9:01 a.m. EDT Sept. 16
Collapse at North Carolina coal-ash landfill
Heavy rains caused by Florence eroded a coal-ash landfill and caused a slope to collapse at a closed power station near the North Carolina coast, the Herald-Sun of Durham reported.
Duke Energy spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said contaminated runoff from about 2,000 cubic yards of ash likely flowed into the cooling pond at the L. V. Sutton Power Station outside Wilmington.
Update 4:49 a.m. EDT Sept. 16
Florence has weakened to a tropical depression, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. advisory. The report cautioned that “flash flooding and major river flooding will continue over a significant portion of the Carolinas.”
The storm, which has maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, is about 20 miles southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. It is moving west at 8 mph.
Meanwhile, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division tweeted that there are more than 59,000 power outages across the state.
Update 2:17 a.m. EDT Sept. 16
Although Tropical Storm Florence is “likely to weaken to a depression very soon,” the National Hurricane Center cautioned in its 2 a.m. advisory that flash floods and river floods are expected to continue in the Carolinas.
The storm, which has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, is about 25 miles southeast of Columbia, South Carolina, and 70 miles west-southwest of Florence, South Carolina. It is moving west at 6 mph.
Update 9:35 p.m. EDT Sept. 15
Florence’s sustained winds dropped to 45 mph around 8 p.m. and the storm is about 65 miles south-southeast of Columbia, South Carolina’s capital, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm is expected to continue to dump excessive rain, threatening the area with flash floods and river flooding.
Heavy rains caused a slope collapse at a closed power station causing 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash to contaminate a nearby cooling pond. It is still unclear if a weir was open or whether any of the contaminated water may have flowed into the Cape Fear River.
The gray ash left after coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals including lead and arsenic.
Update 6:51 p.m. EDT Sept. 15
Power has been restored to 637,000 customers, about half of the 1.1 million who are experiencing outages, Duke Energy said.
The utility expects more outages as the storm continues to pummel the Carolinas.
Update 5:57 p.m. EDT Sept. 15
Three more people have died in North Carolina because of Florence, bringing the death toll up to 11.
An 81-year-old man fell and hit his head Friday while packing to evacuate, the office of the Chief Medical Examiner told The Associated Press.
A husband and wife died in a house fire linked to the storm as well, officials said.
Update 3:37 p.m. EDT Sept. 15
More deaths reported in North Carolina
The Associated Press reports that two more deaths have been confirmed in North Carolina as a result of Tropical Storm Florence, bringing the death toll to at least seven in that state. One death has been reported in South Carolina.
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 15
Death toll rises as catastrophic flooding continues across parts of Carolinas
The death toll rises, as the first storm-related death in South Carolina was confirmed Saturday afternoon. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division told CNN that a 61-year-old woman was killed when her car hit a fallen tree. Five storm-related deaths have been reported in North Carolina.
Dozens of rescues are underway across the region while the rain continues to fall.
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 15
Heavy rain, catastrophic flooding continue across parts of Carolinas
The latest National Weather Service advisory said Tropical Storm Florence is moving slowly west and a slow westward motion is expected to continue through today. A turn toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph, and the storm is expected to be downgraded to a depression by tonight. Florence is forecast to turn northward through the Ohio Valley by Monday.
Update 8:21 a.m. EDT Sept. 15
Tropical Storm Florence nearly stationary
Tropical Storm Florence’s forward speed has slowed even more as the storm continues to dump rain on the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center’s intermediate advisory at 8 a.m. noted that the storm was moving west at 2 mph.
The National Hurricane Center also said that the storm is still causing “catastrophic flooding in parts of South Carolina and North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds remain at 50 mph.
Update 5:14 a.m. EDT Sept. 15
Tropical Storm Florence weakens slightly, but flooding continues
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory, Tropical Storm Florence has weakened in strength but remains dangerous because of flooding. The storm’s winds have decreased to 50 mph as it continues to move deeper into South Carolina.
A storm surge warning remains in effect for the area from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to the Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Update 2:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 15
Tropical Storm Florence enters South Carolina
According to the 2 a.m. intermediate advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Florence was traveling slowly into eastern South Carolina. The storm was located about 30 miles west of Myrtle Beach and 40 miles south-southeast of Florence.
Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 60 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm is causing “catastrophic flooding” in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Update 12:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 15
Winds rising in South Carolina; rain totals swell in North Carolina
According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, South Carolina, winds have been rising as Tropical Storm Florence makes its way inland in the Carolinas. Just after midnight, 55 mph wind gusts were recorded at Fort Sumter in Charleston, while the Charleston Airport measured winds topping 53 mph.
Rain continues to soak the area hit by Florence on Thursday. Shortly after midnight Friday, the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead recorded 23.75 inches of rain at its office in Newport.
Update 11:00 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Tropical Storm Florence weakening
Tropical storm Florence is weakening with maximum sustained winds now at 65 mph, according to the latest briefing from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm has picked up a little speed, increasing from 3 mph to 5 mph as it tracks south into South Carolina.
The center of the storm is 15 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.
The NHC is predicting Florence will weaken as it moves further inland over the next few days and will mostly become a tropical depression by Saturday night.
Update 10:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Catastrophic flooding along coastal Carolinas
The center of Tropical Storm Florence has moved south into South Carolina. It is still bringing heavy rains and high winds to portions of the North Carolina coast, as well, as it slowly moves inland.
Emergency officials said catastrophic flooding is underway in some areas as rescue crews saved hundreds of people in North Carolina from rising waters Friday.
Power outages are increasing, with the latest numbers at almost 800,000 in North Carolina alone.
Tornado warnings are also posted as Florence continues to batter the region with torrential rains and gusty winds.
Update 9:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Flash flood emergency
A flash flood emergency has been issued for counties along the North Carolina coast as Tropical Storm Florence continues it’s slow push inland.
The National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina, has recorded more than 23 inches of rain and it’s still coming down.
Update 8:02 p.m. EDT Sept .14
Latest from National Hurricane Center
Tropical Storm Florence has remained mostly unchanged since the NHC’s last update.
The storm has sustained winds of 70 mph with higher gusts and is still moving west at 3 mph.
Florence is located about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Storm surge and tropical storm warnings are posted along the coast from Myrtle Beach north to Cape Hatteras.
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Flood waters rising
Flood waters are inundating North Carolina beach towns, rising past mail boxes and covering streets and bridges.
Roads are impassable in many areas along the coast.
The mayor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Brenda Bethune, told CNN her town has withstood the storm very well, but she’s worried about the next several days.
“We have 5 major rivers that surround us and we have only one major road into Myrtle Beach. All the roads are going to be impacted by flooding in the next few days,” she said.
Bethune said the anticipated flooding could cause problems for weeks, including food and gas shortages.
Update 6:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Power outages increasing
The number of power outages across coastal North and South Carolina is climbing as Tropical Storm Florence downs trees and utility poles during a slow motion move inland.
In North Carolina, emergency officials said more than 725,000 residents are now without electricity due to the storm.
In South Carolina, more than 103,000 are in the dark as Florence dumps torrential amounts of rain on the region.
The National Hurricane Center is still predicting up to 40 inches of rain could fall in some areas of the Carolinas as Florence inches inland over the next couple days.
“Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina (could see ) an additional 20 to 25 inches of rain, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” according to the NHC’s latest storm update.
Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Federal search and rescue teams assist
Federal search and rescue teams are part of the emergency response underway as Tropical Storm Florence churns through the Carolinas.
President Donald Trump said more than 1,100 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue personnel are helping state and local teams in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia
“The teams came from all over the country this week, traveling long distances with equipment & K-9 partners to arrive before the storm,” Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.
Update 5:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
300 plus flood rescues
Emergency crews are helping stranded residents get to safer ground.
At least 300 people were rescued from rising flood waters in New Bern, North Carolina, and more are still waiting for help, according to the state’s Emergency Management agency.
Rescue crews used boats to rescue more people Friday along a rising river and helped 60 others escape from a cinderblock motel that collapsed from the force of the pummeling winds and whipping downpours, according to The Associated Press.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper again issued a warning about the storm .
We’re still in the thick of the storm, and if it hasn’t reached you yet, it IS coming,” he said.
He also tried to reassure residents,.
“We have help from NC and several other states, as well as our federal partners,” Cooper said Friday afternoon.
Update 4:50 p.m. EDT Sept 14
Hurricane Florence now a tropical storm
Hurricane Florence is weakening and has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the system still has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
It has also slowed down significantly to just 3 mph and is dumping large amounts of rain on parts of eastern North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is centered about 50 miles southwest of Wilmington and is moving in a westerly direction, the NHC reported.
Update 4:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
NC governor issues new warning
As the 400-mile-wide Hurricane Florence unleashes a brutal deluge of wind and water on North Carolina, the state’s governor issued a new warning Friday.
“This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days. Be alert,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at a noon press conference.
He also warned those experiencing the brunt of Florence not to go outside.
“To those in the storm path, if you can hear me – please stay sheltered in place. Do NOT go out into this storm,” he said.
Forecasters are warning about the potential for massive flooding as Florence crawls at just 6 mph inland after making landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Friday morning.
Update 4:18 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Flash flood warnings posted in N.C.
Flash flood warnings are posted across a wide swath of eastern North Carolina as Hurricane Florence dumps near record amounts of rain in some areas of the state. The warnings extend all the way from the coast as far inland as metro Raleigh.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington is warning the Cape Fear River has reached an all-time high of over 8 feet.
Update 3 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Guardsmen ask for help
National Guardsmen working in Lumberton, North Carolina, have asked neighbors to help sandbag along a train trestle, filling a gap in a levee.
Update at 2:46 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
Two killed in Wilmington
A woman and her child were killed and her husband severely injured when a tree fell on their home near Wilmington, North Carolina. They are believed to be the first two fatalities of the hurricane.
Update at 2:33 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
He looks familiar
This man is making a viral comeback with his rant against the rage of Florence.
Update at 2 p.m. EDT Sept. 14
NHC’s latest update
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence continues to move slowly through the Carolinas at a slow crawl of 5 mph.
Maximum sustained winds remained at 75 mph. The storm is moving west as of the 2 p.m. report.
Update at 1 pm. EDT Sept. 14
A sign of weakening
Hurricane Florence is weakening as it moves further inland, according to the National Hurricane Center. Top sustained winds are now 75 mph, the NHC’s 1 p.m. report says.
Update at 12:19 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Rainfall numbers going up
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has turned back toward the west. “An erratic motion between westward and west-southwestward is likely today,” the NHC said.
Rainfall totals are beginning to grow. Here are some Hurricane Florence rainfall reports received so far:
18.53 inches in Oriental, North Carolina
14.07 inches in Surf City, North Carolina
13.81 inches in Morehead City, North Carolina
13.07 inches in Jacksonville, North Carolina
Update 11:40 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
A 1-minute history of Florence
How did Florence get to where it is today? Check out this video.
Update 11:18 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
More scenes of damage in North Carolina
Update 11:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Virginia evacuation orders lifted
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has lifted evacuation orders for Zone A of Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula. The National Hurricane Center has lifted tropical storm warnings for the Virginia coast.
Update 10:37 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Will a ‘jog’ take Florence back out to sea
Florence seems to be tracking toward the south, at least slightly. That could put the storm back over open water, allowing some strengthening and bringing more rain to the area.
Update 10:27 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Some scenes from North Carolina
Update 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
NHC's 10 a.m. update on Florence
The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Florence is wobbling southwestward near the coast of southeastern North Carolina. According to a 10 a.m. update from the NHC, sustained winds are at 85 mph with one gust near Wilmington being registered at 76 mph. The storm is still moving slowly at 6 mph.
Update 9:39 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
If you’re stranded, don’t go into the attic
From the National Weather service:
Update 9:17 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
The president tweets
Update 9 a.m. EDT Sept. 14NHC's 9 a.m. update on Florence
From the National Hurricane Center’s 9 a.m. update: “The eye of Hurricane Florence wobbling slowly southeastward near the coast of southeastern North Carolina.”
Florence’s sustained winds are now at 85 mph and the storm is moving at 6 mph.
Update 8:55 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Track remains steady
The National Hurricane Center reports that Florence is expected to move south and west across South Carolina through Saturday. The forecasters say the storm will then turn north back into North Carolina. Florence is expected to cross the Columbia, S.C. area on Saturday.
Update 8:33 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
The Cajun Navy is on the way
The Cajun Navy, a volunteer search, rescue and recovery group, is on the way to the Carolinas with boats to help get people stranded in their flooded homes.
"We have the resources ... to go and help these people and help save lives and just make it a little bit easier for everybody," Jordan Bloodsworth, a Cajun Navy member, told "Fox & Friends" Friday morning.
Update 8:17 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Power outages continue
Reports of additional power outages are coming in as the storm continues moving west, albeit very slowly.
According to the National Hurricane Center, 45 minutes after Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, winds remain at 90 mph. The storm is moving west at 6 mph.
Update 7:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Florence officially makes landfall
From the National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. with estimated maximum winds of 90 mph.
Update 7:40 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Rescue efforts continue
New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw says she knows of no fatalities in the city as officials continue rescue efforts for at least 150 people trapped in their homes as the Neuse River rises.
Update 7:15 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Power outages spreading
More than 430,000 homes are now without power in the Carolinas. The North Carolina Emergency Management Agency is reporting 340, 264 power outages statewide. South Carolina has 96,720 customers without power.
Update 6:50 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Help on the way to New Bern
Around 150 people remain trapped in New Bern, North Carolina, as the Neuse River floods. According to city officials, two Federal Emergency Management Agency teams are working on the way to help.
Update 6:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Towns are flooding
The National Hurricane Center said Emerald Isle, North Carolina, was seeing 6.3 feet of inundation as Florence continues to move onshore. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles north of Wilmington.
Update 6:26 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Hundreds of thousands without power
Hurricane Florence knocked out power to more than 300,000 homes in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management.
Update 5:53 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
People trapped in New Bern
Around 150 people are trapped in their homes in New Bern, North Carolina, according to city officials, as water is rising in that area.
Peggy Perry, who is trapped in her home there, told CNN, “In a matter of seconds my house was flooded up to the waist. And we’re stuck in the attic. There’s four of us.
We’ve been up here for like three or four hours. There’s a little window here that we might have to break up (to get out).”
Update 5:35 a.m. EDT Sept. 14
Florence making landfall
The National Hurricane Center says Florence is making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near Wilmington, North Carolina. Florence was moving west-northwest near 6 mph as the eyewall came ashore.
According to the NHC, a turn toward the west “at a slow forward speed is expected today, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion tonight and Saturday.”
The center of Florence is then forecast to move inland across the Carolinas then northward through the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.
Update 4:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: The National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. advisory that Hurricane Florence was about to make landfall. CNN reported that landfall was taking place at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
At 5 a.m. the storm continued to move slowly, with a top forward speed of 6 mph. Maximum sustained winds remain at 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Update 4:07 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: The eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast, the National Hurricane Center reported. At 4 a.m. the eye of the Category 1 storm was located 30 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are still 90 mph.
Florence’s maximum sustained winds will continue to decrease, but flooding will be a major concern for the western areas of North Carolina and South Carolina, including the Appalachian Mountains. Forecasters believe heavy rains will continue in the mountains until Wednesday.
Update 3:21 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: Hurricane Florence has begun pounding the North Carolina coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. At 3 a.m., the center of Hurricane Florence was located 35 miles east of Wilmington. Maximum sustained winds remain at 90 mph.
An observation site at Cape Lookout reported sustained winds of 75 mph. At Fort Macon, winds were 74 mph with gusts to 99 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported.
The storm continues to move west-northwest at 6 mph.
About 150 people are awaiting rescue in the New Bern area from flooding, WNCT reported.
Update 2:41 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: A flash flood warning for Washington, North Carolina and most of Craven County was issued by the National Weather Service, WCTI reported. Other parts of eastern North Carolina remain under a flash flood watch, including River Bend, Havelock, Morehead City and Vanceboro, the National Weather Service reported.
Update 2:01 a.m. EDT Sept 14: There has been little change in the strength and movement of Hurricane Florence, according to the 2 a.m. intermediate advisory by the National Hurricane Center. The storm remains a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph and moving west-northwest at 6 mph. Storm surge for the storm is projected to be approximately 9 to 10 feet along the coast of North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.
Update 1:13 a.m. EDT Sept. 14: The eye of Hurricane Florence continues to creep toward the North Carolina coast. Winds continue to increase as the storm prepares to make landfall. The storm surge is beginning to reach the waterfront in Morehead City, North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.
A weather station in Atlantic Beach recorded 12.73 inches of rain over the past 24 hours, CNN reported.
Update 12:16 a.m. EDT Sept 14: The National Weather Service is reporting that “life-threatening” storm surge is occurring in parts of eastern North Carolina.
Update 11 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 1 storm as it continues lashing the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Florence is still a powerful storm with sustained winds of 90 mph and even higher gusts, but it’s only moving at a slow crawl of 6 mph, according to the NHC.
The storm is producing a “life-threatening” storm surge in parts of eastern North Carolina and conditions could worsen even more as storm conditions continue into Friday night.
The NHC predicted Florence won’t begin moving inland significantly until possibly as late as Saturday.
Update 9:50 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Thousands of people in North Carolina are without power as Hurricane Florence batters the coast with high winds and driving rain.
North Carolina Emergency Management officials said so far there are more than 102,000 outages in the coastal counties of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Onslow and Pamlico.
Southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina could see nonstop rain for the next 24 to 36 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Flooding is already underway in coastal North Carolina and it’s not just beach towns that are in danger of flooding. Experts and emergency officials have warned about the potential for major flooding along the state’s rivers as Florence blows ashore.
The NHC saaid parts of coastal North and South Carolina could see as much as 40 inches of rain by the time this storm is over.
Update 8:30 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Once Hurricane Florence makes landfall, the storm is expected to stall over the North and South Carolina coastline creating a huge flooding danger as rains continue for several days, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Update 8:00 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Hurricane Florence’s winds speeds have dropped to 100 mph again, but the Category 2 hurricane is still a monster storm as it moves at just 5 mph toward land.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence is located about 85 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, which is already experiencing gusting winds and pelting rains.
The storm will make landfall over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina late Thursday, the NHC said in its latest update.
As flooding continues along the North Carolina coast, winds from Florence have already knocked out power to thousands of residents and the eyewall of the storm is still hours away from making landfall.
Update 6:50 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Hurricane Florence’s wind speeds have increased to 105 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, as the storm’s out bands sweep ashore.
As Florence slowly moves toward the coast, the hurricane’s powerful winds have already pushed enough water onto the North Carolina coast to cause flooding in small towns along the shore.
Update 6:15 p.m. EDT Sept 13: Hurricane Florence is already having an impact along the North Carolina coast and the storm’s outer bands have barely arrived.
WGHP-TV is reporting storm damage in Atlantic beach after winds blew the roof off a structure near the shore.
Update 5:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 13: Officials along the North Carolina coast in towns like New Bern are warning residents if they haven’t already evacuated, they need to take shelter and stay where they are as Hurricane Florence barrels ashore.
“At this time City of New Bern officials are encouraging all residents to shelter in place due to Hurricane Florence.. Residents are asked to heed all warnings given by officials,” New Bern police officials said on Twitter.
Update 5:00 p.m. EDT Sept. 13: Hurricane Florence is battering North Carolina as the storms’s outer bands lash the coast.
The Category 2 hurricane has slowed to a crawl and is moving at just 5 mph with winds clocked at 100 mph, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.
Update 4:30 p.m. EDT Sept 13: The outer bands of Hurricane Florence are sweeping ashore in coastal North Carolina with wind speeds clocked at 105 mph and even higher gusts.
Here’s a live look at Florence from a livecam off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, as the storm barrels ashore.
The camera is attached to a tower 34 miles off the coast on what what was once a Coast Guard station.
Update 4 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Wilmington seeing Florence’s effects
Update 3:24 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Update 2:54 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Power outages growing
As of 2:45 p.m., nearly 17,000 customers in North Carolina are experiencing power outages. Most outages are in Carteret, Craven and Pender counties.
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
From the governor of North Carolina
Update 1:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
The 2 p.m. NHC update on Florence
At 2 p.m., Florence was 110 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 165 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is moving northwest at 10 mph and has sustained winds of 105 mph.
Update 1:33 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Water coming in; winds picking up
Scenes from North Carolina as Florence heads for a landfall in the state:
Update 1:21 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Here are the times most places on the coast will likely see their highest water levels from Florence:
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
1 p.m. update from NHC
At 1 p.m., Florence was 115 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 175 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is moving northwest at 10 mph and has sustained winds of 105 mph.
Update 12:59 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
More Delta flights canceled
Delta Airlines has canceled 150 flights over two days as Hurricane Florence moves west. Customers can change the dates for the canceled flights, 80 on Thursday and 70 on Friday, by going to Delta.com, or by using the Fly Delta Mobile App.
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Gust at near hurricane-force strength being seen now
A NOAA reporting station at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, has reported a sustained wind of 55 mph with a gust of 70 mph. Ocracoke, North Carolina, reported a sustained wind of 50 mph and a gust to 52 mph within the last hour.
At noon, Florence was 130 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 185 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The storm is moving northwest at 10 mph and has sustained winds of 105 mph.
Update 12:23 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Winds are picking up
Winds on Harkers Island, North Carolina, are gusting and have taken down tree limbs.
Update 12:14 p.m. EDT Sept. 13
Energy outages are starting
Duke Energy is reporting that 1,400 customers in the Acme-Delco area and Northwest Brunswick area (near Wilmington, North Carolina) are without power.
Update 11:31 a.m. EDT Sept.13
Price gouging law is in effect
North Carolina will be prosecuting anyone who engages in price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Florence, according to Attorney General Josh Stein.
“My office is here to protect North Carolinians from scams and frauds,” Stein said. “That is true all the time – but especially during severe weather. It is against the law to charge an excessive price during a state of emergency. If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, either before or after it hits, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable.”
Price gouging, or charging too much for goods and services during a time of crisis, is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 for each violation.
Report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at www.ncdoj.gov.
Update 11 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
11 a.m. update on Florence from the NHC
According to the NHC, at 11 a.m. Florence was about 145 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, or 195 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with sustained winds at 105 mph. Florence is moving northwest at 10 mph. The storm’s winds have decreased by 5 mph and the speed has slowed by 5 mph.
Update 10:50 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
Rain bans are onshore in the Carolinas
Here is a look at the radar out of Morehead City, North Carolina.
Update 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
The storm is very big
Keep in mind that while Hurricane Florence has been downgraded from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2 storm, the size of the storm has grown.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the hurricane’s center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles from the center.
Update 9:06 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
It’s not all about the category
Hurricane Florence is a Category 2 storm at the moment, but residents of the Carolinas should remember that a storm’s category only represents the strength of its winds. Along with the storm’s winds come rain, storm surge and the chance for tornadoes. This graphic shows the potential impacts of Florence.
Update 8:26 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
Rainfall totals could reach 40 inches in some areas
Rainfall from Florence will be extremely heavy along the Carolinas and into Virginia, according to the National Hurricane Center. Here is what the NHC is forecasting:
Coastal North Carolina into northeast South Carolina: 20 to 30 inches, with isolated totals up to 40 inches.
South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest Virginia: 6 to 12 inches, with isolated totals up to 24 inches.
Update 8 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
National Hurricane Center advisory
At 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence is 170 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, or 220 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds are 110 mph with gusts up to 130 mph. The storm is moving northwest at 12 mph.
Update 6:52 a.m. EDT Sept. 13
Florence nears the Carolina coast
The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached the North Carolina coast, and forecasters say the storm, which is expected to slow to a crawl, will make landfall late Thursday into Friday.
The NHC is warning residents that because Florence is slowing down storm surge will happen over the course of several high tides.
Here are the latest storm-surge inundation forecasts if the eye of the storm should arrive at high tide:
Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay Rivers: 9 to 13 feet
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Fear, North Carolina: 6 to 9 feet
Cape Lookout, North Carolina, to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina: 6 to 9 feet
South Santee River, South Carolina, to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: 4 to 6 feet
Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina, to Salvo, North Carolina: 4 to 6 feet
Salvo, North Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border: 2 to 4 feet
Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the South Santee River, South Carolina: 2 to 4 feet
Update 4:58 a.m. EDT Sept. 13: Hurricane Florence remains a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. advisory.
The storm is about 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 250 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the advisory said. It is moving northwest at 15 mph.
Update 1:56 a.m. EDT Sept. 13: Hurricane Florence remains a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2 a.m. advisory.
The storm is about 280 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and 325 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the advisory said. It is moving northwest at 17 mph.
Update 11:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 2 hurricane with wind speeds of 110 mph, down from 115 mph three hours ago, according the National Hurricane Center.
Florence is about 280 miles east south east of Wilmington, North Carolina, and is picking up a little speed, now moving at 17 mph.
Storm surge warnings are posted along parts of the North and South Carolina coast.
“A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline,” according to the NHC.
Some areas could see a storm surge between 9 and 13 feet, according to the latest NHC update.
Update 8:50 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: Hurricane Florence is a monster storm. All you have to do is check out the photos from space of the Category 3 hurricane to verify it.
NASA is sharing photos of the storm taken from the International Space Station and the camera lens almost isn’t big enough to encompass the entire hurricane.
Update 8:15 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: Hurricane Florence is weakening ever so slightly with wind speeds down to 115 mph, according to the latest update form the National Hurricane Center, but the storm is still a powerful Category 3 hurricane.
The NHC is predicting Florence will remain “an extremely dangerous major hurricane” when it makes landfall late Thursday or early Friday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward from the center of the storm up to 70 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend even further at 195 miles from its center.
Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: Once Hurricane Florence makes landfall, the storm could linger along the coast for as long as a day before slowly moving inland, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center.
“This brings a number of dangerous hazards. Obviously the wind, but most importantly the storm surge, which is one of the deadliest hazards of hurricanes, and the inland rainfall associated with this event” David Novak, the director of the Weather Prediction Center, said Wednesday afternoon.
“These hazards are deadly. In fact, over half of hurricane deaths are associated with water, both surge and rainfall, and that is our major concern with Hurricane Florence,” Novak said.
Tropical storm-strength winds are expected to begin lashing the Carolina coastlines beginning Thursday morning.
Southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina could see up to 2 feet of rain when Florence comes ashore, Novak said.
He also said few people have seen this much rain and that it’s really only comparable to Hurricane Floyd, which hit eastern North Carolina in 1999 and caused widespread flooding over a period of weeks, killing 57 people and leaving behind damages of more than $6 billion dollars.
Update 5 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: More than 10 million people are under a hurricane warning or watch throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, according to The Associated Press.
The NHC is also predicting Florence will bring up to 13-foot storm surges and as much as 40 inches of rain in some areas as it slows once it makes landfall.
The storm’s winds have dropped to 120 mph and it is moving in a northwesterly direction at 16 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in it’s latest update.
Update 4:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 12: Storm surge warnings are now posted for parts of the North and South Carolina coastal region as Hurricane Florence bares down on the eastern seaboard.
The National Hurricane Center has warned that Florence is expected to bring “life-threatening” storm surge when it slams into the Carolinas over the next few days.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster , during an afternoon press conference Wednesday, called the storm’s path “unpredictable” and urged people in the state’s evacuation zones to take the storm warnings seriously.
Thousands of people in North and South Carolina, and parts of coastal Georgia and Virginia, are evacuating as the powerful hurricane churns toward shore.
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Duke Energy looking at between 1-3 million without power
Duke Energy, which serves 4 million customers in North and South Carolina, says it expects between 1 million and 3 million customers will lose power because of Hurricane Florence.
More than 20,000 power workers from Duke and from other utility companies in other states are stationed around the region awaiting the storm’s landfall.
Update 2:54 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
What will 25 inches of rain do?
Update 2:22 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Pet rumor debunked
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is debunking a rumor that emergency shelters and hotels are required by law to allow those who evacuate to bring their pets.
FEMA points out that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires hotels and shelters to accept service animals, not personal pets. FEMA offers this link on evacuating with pets.
Update 2 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Florence is now a Category 3 – still a major hurricane
Here’s what we know after the 2 p.m. update from the NHC:
Florence is 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, or 470 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Sustained winds have dropped to 125. Florence is moving at 16 mph.
Florence's predicted southward turn off of North Carolina on Friday means more of the coastline will be affected – some areas getting hurricane-force winds for more than 24 hours. Hurricane force winds are winds that are greater than 74 mph. In Wilmington, N.C. the storm surge will be between 9 and 13 feet.
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Florence from space
Update 1:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
An ‘odd’ hurricane
Weather Channel meteorologist Greg Postel told USA Today that Florence’s track change is not what he would expect to see from such a storm. Postel said Florence will likely "stall near the coast and then parallel southwestward toward Georgia," instead of quickly heading inland.
Update 12:44 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Deal declares an emergency
Following the change in the forecast for Florence earlier Wednesday, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for all counties in the state.
Update 12:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Flying into the eye
Here’s what it looks like when you fly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane.
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 12:
‘A Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast’
The Carolinas will be receiving the full brunt of Hurricane Florence in the next 48 hours, according to Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “This is not going to be a glancing blow,” he said. “This is not going to be one of those storms that hit and move out to sea. This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast.”
The National Hurricane Center is continuing to warn coastal residents of “life-threatening storm surges.” A storm surge is water pushed inland from landfalling hurricanes. The NHC says some surges can be up upwards of 9 feet.
Update 11:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
What’s the track now?
According to the 11 a.m. NHC update, on the current forecast track, “… the center of Florence is expected to be near the coasts of southern North Carolina and northern South Carolina in 48 to 72 hours and then drift westward to west-southwestward in weak steering flow.
Update 11 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Update on Florence from the NHC
The 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center puts Florence about 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., or 520 miles east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with sustained winds remaining at 130 mph. Florence is moving northwest at 15 mph. The storm has slowed its forward motion a bit.
Update 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
President Donald Trump is warning Georgia residents to be on watch saying, “Florence may now be dipping a bit south and hitting the Great State of Georgia.
Update 9:48 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Click here for WSOC’s updating list of mandatory and voluntary evacuations in North Carolina.
Update 8:48 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Change in steering currents
The NHC says the currents that are guiding Florence will collapse as the storm nears the coast, making it more difficult to predict where the storm will end up. As of Wednesday, the NHC is predicting a landfall in southeast North Carolina. This is a bit south of Tuesday’s predicted landfall.
“Models are indicating that the steering currents will collapse by Friday when Florence is approaching the southeast U.S. coast,” according to the NHC update. “The weak steering currents are expected to continue through the weekend, which makes the forecast track on days 3-5 quite uncertain.”
Update 8 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
From the NHC
According to the NHC, at 8 a.m. Florence was about 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. with winds at 130 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
Update 7:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 12:
Here’s what we know early Wednesday from the NHC’s 5 a.m. report:
- Florence was centered more than 500 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving west-northwestward.
- Florence remains a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds
- Landfall looks to be late Thursday into Friday
- Tropical-storm-force winds should arrive at the coast as soon as Thursday morning.
- Florence is causing rip currents up and down the East Coast as far south as Florida.
Here’s what Hurricane Florence looks like from a satellite.