Hurricane Florence has slowed as it approaches the coast of North Carolina on the evening (local time) of Thursday, September 13. As of 17:00 (local time) on Thursday, the eye of the hurricane was located about 160 km (100 mi) east-southeast of Wilmington (North Carolina), with the storm packing maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h (100 mph) and moving west-northwestward at approximately 7 km/h (5 mph). Hurricane warnings and watches are in effect along the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, as far north as Cape Charles (Virginia). Over 1 million people are under evacuation orders and thousands have sought emergency shelter.
More than 88,000 people have been reported without power in North Carolina as of Thursday evening; some 3 million people in the Carolinas may suffer power outages in the coming hours and days. Over 1300 flights have been canceled across the East Coast, including many due to the hurricane; significant transportation disruptions (including numerous flight cancelations) are to be anticipated in the Carolinas. Florence is forecast to bring significant rainfall totals of 50-75 cm (20-30 in) - with locally higher amounts possible - to coastal parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the coming hours, producing dangerous flash flooding exacerbated by the slow passage of the storm over the area;.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (including evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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