Hurricane Florence has weakened but will still be devastating

These pet-owners aren't evacuating

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

Hurricane Florence has arrived.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

The city assured those who were trapped that help was on the way.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend", the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update.

He said: '.is going to continue our coverage so we can continue the evacuation of this building because of the rise in water.

"But with conditions with the way they are, there are some area where it's just not safe to perform rescues", Parker says.

More than 1.7 million people evacuated this week, leaving behind homes, schools and precious belongings. And this is just the beginning. "Our greatest concern about this storm remains the same - storm surge and massive flooding", he said.

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 13, 2018.

Hurricane Florence: Four reasons to fear this storm
It's not all for show, either. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact-and we have that". On Friday, the storm's center will hug the coast of southeast North Carolina, where the most severe effects are expected.

The storm is moving inland at a speed of 6 miles per hour and conditions are likely to deteriorate as it pushes its way southwest along the coast Friday through Saturday.

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Those opting to stay have been told power outages could last week. "I've lived here all my life. This may be worse than what we've seen before", Assistant Fire Chief Joey Roberts said during a press conference Wednesday.

On social media, people caught in the storm are posting dramatic videos of flooding and high winds. "This water is through the first floor of your home, into the second", Navarro says.

North Carolina alone could see the equivalent of eight months of rain over two or three days, National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Locklear said.

FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and fears splintering trees will pummel her house.

The Weather Channel produced a terrifying Hurricane Florence weather forecast using a visualization to show the horrifying reality of what 9-foot flood waters might look like in North Carolina.

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