Winds have slowed down from around 140mph to 110mph. "Don't plan to leave once the winds and rains start".
At least 800 flights have been cancelled or grounded due to the storm's expected landfall, CNN reported.
Nighttime winds have gone from 140mph (225kph) to 115mph (185kph), and further weakening is expected as Florence approaches the coast.
However, all coastal communities are in danger of storm surge, and Florence could bring wind damage and flooding to communities near the Virginia line. Tropical-storm-force winds are between 39 and 73 miles per hour. These unforgiving winds will damage homes and buildings, down trees and knock out power. Its maximum sustained winds dropped slightly from 110 miles per hour earlier Thursday to 105 miles per hour, but the storm remains a Category 2 hurricane that is expected to cause widespread catastrophic damage. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the Hurricane Center said.
It then will move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC in the hurricane warning area later Thursday and Friday. Widespread rainfall amounts could reach 152mm to 300mm, spurring flooding.
Residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states should consult local authorities for any evacuation orders and other preparation guidelines.
Hurricane Florence's winds began whipping coastal North Carolina on Thursday as the slow-moving tempest began to unleash fierce rains that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the US southeast.
On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday.
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Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 2 storm, but don't be fooled, it's still incredibly unsafe.
Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying. This includes Wilmington. A hurricane watch extends into the Charleston area.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to the North Carolina/Virginia border. It could stall just off the coast and then drift south along the SC coast and possibly make a landfall as a weaker system if it doesn't make it clearly over the coast of North Carolina.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
"It's still going to be the same result with the amount of water that's being pushed on shore", he explained. "We're able", he said. A third high-pressure system over the central USA pushed the cyclone south and could contribute to its stalling, which could result in a situation similar to what happened in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey hovered over Houston and devastated it with massive rains and flooding.
Boeing evacuated several new 787-10 Dreamliner jets from its factory in North Charleston, South Carolina, to protect them from the storm. "But a storm surge of 20 feet could easily wipe this island out". The effects of torrential rain are devastating, costly, and deadly, especially in urban areas where concrete comprises the basis of most structures and makes it incredibly hard for water to drain.
The National Weather Service issued an ominous warning.
Where exactly the zone of heaviest rain sets up as the storm meanders inland is more uncertain, but models suggest that it may concentrate in southern North Carolina and northern SC through the weekend.