The outer reaches of Hurricane Florence began lashing coastal North Carolina with heavy winds and flooded roads on Thursday ahead of an expected landfall that will bring walls of water and lingering downpours to parts of the US East Coast.
The centre of Florence, which has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, is expected to hit North Carolina’s southern coast on Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday, enough time to drop as much as one metre of rain in some places, according to the National Hurricane Center.
An estimated 10 million people live in the storm’s path, according to the US Weather Prediction Center, and coastal businesses and homes were boarded up in anticipation. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
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