Astronauts Capture Haunting Video of Hurricane Florence Making Landfall From Space

Yes hurricane damage is getting worse. But that's largely because there's more stuff to damage

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

More than 360 people have been carried to safety since Thursday night amid rising waters from a river swelled by both rain and salty storm surge. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury. Already, the event has broken the state's record for most rain ever observed in a tropical storm or hurricane, with a preliminary report of more than 30 inches.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

The storm's center is crawling inland over SC, but its main rain bands largely are over already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

Still, she said, "I think we're going to stay put", noting her neighborhood's past success in avoiding power outages and flooding. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

One resident, restaurant owner Tom Ballance, told the Associated Press he now thinks he should have evacuated.

"I couldn't even imagine", he said.

Radar loop of Florence over the last 24 hours.

As the storm moves into hilly terrain, it's also expected to unleash catastrophic and potentially deadly flash flooding and possibly mud slides, the hurricane center warned.

If you click one of the dots, you can see real-time observations and projections for the next three days.

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"This surge is also likely along portions of the SC coast".

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour as of 5 a.m., the briefing said.

As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island chain, had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Service said.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night.

Parts of West-central Virginia and far eastern West Virginia will see "life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with an elevated risk for landslides", according to the agency.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

By 3 p.m., more than 15.5 inches had accumulated in Moorehead City, the National Hurricane Center reported. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated.

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington on Friday morning, battering the coastal city with strong winds and torrential rain.

Computer models mostly show the remnants of Florence tracking into western North Carolina on Sunday afternoon, before making a sharp turn to the north/northeast as the storm begins to get picked up by the jet stream over North America.

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