'Monster' storm Florence: What you need to know

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Tropical storm-force winds are predicted to arrive by late Thursday morning or early afternoon. The damage is much more widespread-and while Florence's main targets appear to be the Carolinas, the storm could bring flooding to parts of Georgia and Virginia as well.

"Please hear my message", he says. "If the storm continues its path inland, we could see disruption at (Atlanta) Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport". "Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill".

"While we expect an AccuWeather Local StormMax of 40 inches of rain, extensive inland flooding and storm surge flooding from Florence, Hurricane Harvey unleashed more than 60 inches of rain locally centered around the United States' fourth largest city, Houston, which has a population of 2.3 million".

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Your time is running out".

Hurricane Florence began to inundate Frisco in North Carolina's Outer Banks on September 13. "I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked".

The police chief says he's not going to put his people in harm's way, especially for people they've already told to evacuate.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged people to take the storm seriously.

The biggest surge should occur just to the north of where the eye of the storm comes ashore, which the Hurricane Center projects in southeastern North Carolina.

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The couple said they would have had to travel too far inland to find a hotel that would have accepted their animals as guests. So far, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. have all declared states of emergencies.

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Many seaports and airports along the southeastern USA coastline have been shut down, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and some highways and bridges in low-lying coastal areas could close soon, as Hurricane Florence gets closer to making landfall.

Graham said areas that repeatedly get hit even with weaker winds at Florence's edges could see heavy rainfall for hours. What's left of Florence also could bring long lines of thunderstorms to the area as it moves through, threatening to create pop-up delays and cancellations in the same way that typical summer storms can snarl air travel.

Any shift farther to the south in the track would increase rainfall totals across the area, and increase the threat for tornadoes.

In its 1 a.m. Friday update, the NHC said Florence was about 45 miles east of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 90 mph.

The waves will meet resistance as Florence approaches landfall, but storm surges up to 13 feet are expected in some areas of North Carolina, according to the weather service.

The monster storm - which briefly flirted with category five status on its march across the Atlantic - was located roughly 170 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina as of 8:00 a.m. EDT Thursday.

Not with Florence. That's because the weather systems that usually push and pull a storm are disappearing as Florence nears land around the border between North and SC.

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