Hurricane Florence strengthened a bit, but then tapped on the brakes as it approached the North Carolina coast Thursday evening. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid. "We are not directly affected here", Williams said.
Florence dipped to Category 2 hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour on Wednesday evening.
"This is a very risky storm", said FEMA's Long, urging people still in evacuation zones to heed orders to flee to safer ground.
The utility said more than 20,000 workers were ready to restore power - its largest mobilization in history. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles. "The broadening of the event also signals that storm surge and flooding will remain important drivers of overall loss.
North Alabama stays on the "dry" side of the storm for the duration; however, the wind will pick up from Friday through the weekend (north at 10-20 miles per hour on average), and some showers are possible by Sunday and Monday as the western edge of Florence's "influence" spreads clouds and some rain this direction.
The 2.6-magnitude quake was the state's fifth this year.
It was causing a life-threatening storm surge in parts of eastern North Carolina.
Airlines have cancelled more than 1,500 flights, and coastal towns across the Carolinas are largely empty after 1.7 million people in three states were told to clear out.
After a moment, he said he thought the worst he'd seen was "two hurricanes ago". "Have some pity on us because if you stay here and you have a problem and we have to get out in it, there's a chance that we won't because we can't".
About 10 million people live in the storm's path and more than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
"I was really anxious about coming back to Cleveland because of the weather report", said Cheryl Hermsdorfer, a Cleveland area native who managed to book an earlier flight.
Associated Press story by Johanthan Drew.
IOS 12 GM: What To Know & How To Get It!
This is important to remember because it means you won't need to check anytime before 10AM Pacific on Monday, September 17th. After months of anticipation, Apple is finally rolling out its new iOS update , and iPhone users couldn't be more excited.
A storm surge of nine to 12 feet (2.7-3.6 meters) was expected along the North Carolina coast, Goldstein said, and some areas could receive as much as one metre (40 inches) of rain. That's about half the amount Hurricane Harvey - the largest rainfall event in US history - dropped on the greater Houston area past year.
"We are on the wrong side of this storm, where most of the damage is done", North Carolina Gov.
Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina border and makes its way slowly inland.
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.
Although Charlotte is farther inland than the areas expected to the get the brunt of the hurricane force winds natives say they are anxious about the rain and risk of flooding. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the area starting Saturday at 8 am through Tuesday.
More than 421,000 South Carolinians already have evacuated from the coast, McMaster said.
Hurricane categories are determined by the wind speeds within the storm system, but the real threats - the amount of rainfall, flooding and storm surge - will stay the same, regardless of the wind speed, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service.
One electricity company fears that three-quarters of its four million customers will lose power as a result of the storm, and may not be reconnected for weeks.
Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.
Some people responded with tweets by giving information about other people who they claimed were trapped.
"I'm not leaving my child", Foster said.