Hurricane Florence evacuees are coming to Central Florida to escape

A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence

Duke Energy crews will have to wait until storm conditions subside before fixing equipment.

North Carolina had 108 shelters open, and SC reported having 56 shelters open on Thursday morning, as the storm loomed toward the coast.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. It said it was located about 35 miles (55 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march.

That mix of impressions - a respect for this storm's sheer size and the massive amount of rain and seawater it brings, along with a resignation to storms being part of life on the coast - is also part of the reaction in low-lying areas to the north.

Twice a day for the past week, Michael Sprayberry, the Director of North Carolina's Division of Emergency Management has briefed officials working out of the sprawling glass and steel building that is serving as the state's emergency response hub ahead of Hurricane Florence.

Florence is battering the North Carolina coast - flooding beach town roads from the Outer Banks to Carolina Beach.

Except - and we don't mean to jinx it - but the storm *is* heading further south from here and the wind did die down a bit so who is to say it didn't work entirely?

With recent official reports finding that last year's Hurricane Maria claimed almost 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico-an assertion that re-emerged onto the national spotlight Thursday after President Donald Trump, without providing evidence, alleged that those estimates were artificially inflated and politically motivated-it's worth exploring what it is that ultimately kills people, including the most vulnerable, when a hurricane strikes.

Yet another tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Thursday night.

Carolina Beach lies on a narrow strip of land in the southern part of North Carolina.

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In Wilmington, North Carolina, a steady rain began to fall as gusts of winds intensified, causing trees to sway and stoplights to flicker.

Agency spokesman John Konkus said regional staff have been conducting response planning, and the EPA is prepared to assist state environmental agencies as well.

With Florence moving slowly and stalling, the storm surge is going to be a bigger, longer-term factor than normal because the water "just keeps piling up", Needham said. At one rectangular table in the conference room, there were FEMA officials who were tasked with monitoring the state's four nuclear plants in order to certify that will be OK to operate after the storm passes.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate and authorities urged them to get going before the streets become inundated.

"This time it's important".

"It is scary. When somebody tells you something like that, it's my cue to get out".

Hurricane Florence is on a path of destruction that will put millions of people at risk and threaten billions of dollars in property damage, centered on the Carolinas, through this weekend. "We just want prayers from everyone". He stayed in the bar to ride out the storm. Among the tips: Prepare a safety kit and avoid driving through floodwater. In the Philippines, evacuations were under way with Super Typhoon Mangkhut expected to hit on Saturday in an area impacting an estimated 5.2 million people. "I charged the batteries of my electronic devices, I have beers and video games".

"We have lots of water, we've got lots of food, lots of canned food, non-perishable food", she said.

The US Army Corps of Engineers said it is monitoring two North Carolina dams - in Wake Forest and Cary - as well as three additional ones in Virginia. It was the first year that the hurricane center had started new storm surge warnings.

Millions of people are in the path of the Category 1 storm which on Thursday evening was moving west at only 6 miles per hour (9 km/h).