Water -- not wind -- is the deadliest storm hazard

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Winds and waves began battering the Carolinas on Thursday as officials warned that Hurricane Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the US East Coast. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid. "We are going to hunker down and stay safe and not stay in mobiles and we will be OK".

Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 105 miles per hour (165 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC.

Almost 1.8million people have been ordered to evacuate from coastal areas.

Forecasters warned that Florence was poised to create a risky storm surge of up to 13 feet in parts of North Carolina.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

Florence has been bearing down on the Carolinas for days, and it has expanded in size, with tropical-storm-force winds extending almost 200 miles from the storm's eye. Along coastal communities, people trapped in homes by relentless flood waters awaited rescue, and tens of thousands hunkered down in shelters after fleeing their homes as the storm approached.

Hurricane Florence is fast approaching the border of North and SC. He stayed in the bar to ride out the storm.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm.

"What we always try to do is make sure that everybody is informed, aware of everything that's going on, so they can make the right decisions", Kaplan said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted.

More news: Hundreds rescued as Hurricane Florence pounds Carolinas

Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"I was really anxious about coming back to Cleveland because of the weather report", said Cheryl Hermsdorfer, a Cleveland area native who managed to book an earlier flight.

One of his projects is particularly useful while talking about potential hurricane damage: The Storm Surge Viewer.

Keith Acre of North Carolina's Department of Emergency Management said: "This has been a really large evacuation and sheltering operation, probably the largest we've done, so that has not been an east lift".

FEMA's Long warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for. While most golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area were open within two weeks of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Florence could be different because it's forecast to deliver a 13-foot (4-meter) ocean surge and flooding rains.

There are reports of more than 80,000 people without power in North Carolina.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday. Fallen trees and freshwater flooding may require extensive cleanup, even if they don't damage clubhouses, equipment sheds or other infrastructure. They died when a large tree came down over the back of their home, crushing and killing them while leaving the child's father hospitalized Friday morning.

Since issuing a mandatory evacuation order Wednesday, nearly all of the more than 2500 residents left the island.

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