Hurricane Florence has made landfall on the US East Coast with winds, heavy rains and warnings of "catastrophic" floods.
Evacuation warnings are in place for more than a million people across South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The center of the storm struck Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, with gales of up to 90mph (150 km/h). It is expected to unload 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina. "Inland flooding kills a lot of people. ... Please keep that in mind," and consider leaving soon, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said midmorning Thursday.
Nearly half a million power outages have been reported across North Carolina. National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said North Carolina is likely to see eight months' worth of rain in two to three days. Some areas of North Carolina saw almost a foot of rain just a few hours, and footage showed sea levels begin to surge in land. Florence remains "very dangerous", even though it has been downgraded to a category one storm with 90mph (150km/h) winds. Forecasters reminded people that what makes Florence extremely dangerous are the potentially deadly storm surges, the expected mammoth coastal flooding and historic rainfall. More than 1,300 flights along the US East Coast have been canceled through Friday. Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland.