Florence's rain bands lash Carolinas — WHAT'S HAPPENING

Here's how large Hurricane Florence is compared to Kentucky

The storm originally made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a category one hurricane.

Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 110 miles per hour (175 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC.

On the James River, waves are expected to be about 1 foot though Sunday.

Life-threatening storm surge and flooding remains likely along the Carolina coasts, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents along the south-eastern coast of the USA have been boarding up their properties, stockpiling supplies and some have left their homes as the Category 2 storm heads toward land. "I am frightened about what's coming".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachians, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

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. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit. "This general motion, accompanied by a further decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue through today".

Florence is already making its presence felt along the coast of North Carolina.

Even if Hurricane Florence's category weakens, or if the storm no longer maintains its hurricane status, the amount of rain can still be biblical.

Hurricane Florence strengthened a bit, but then tapped on the brakes as it approached the North Carolina coast Thursday evening.

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Accuweather reported that its meteorologists "believe that the hurricane will stall and meander near the Carolina coast from Thursday night to Saturday".

Storm surges of 9 to 13 feet and rainfall up to 40 inches: Those are two of the most dire warnings about Hurricane Florence's effect on parts of North and SC.

"This means more people, structures and land will be subject to the unsafe winds", Miller said.

Rain bands are already affecting the eastern part of North Carolina and SC, with rain increasing and waves growing.

Officials had warned before the storm that the rains could risk tainting waterways with murky coal ash and toxic hog waste. That forecast area also includes part of southwest Virginia.

Residents of the Carolinas and neighboring states should consult local authorities for any evacuation orders and other preparation guidelines.

"Even the rescuers can not stay there", he said.

Jenni Koontz, a photographer who shot the clip, wrote on Instagram at 12 p.m. Sept 13 that "the guy in the front end loader told me there is a hole in the road somewhere between the pier and Hatteras so I turned around".

"Total innundation" is expected in eastern and southeastern North Carolina, as well as northern Southern California, and the storm surge could reach in "excess of 3.05m in some areas", Accuweather added.