Hurricane Florence made landfall in southern North Carolina - Wrightsville Beach - around 08:00 (local time) on Friday, September 14. According to the National Hurricane Center, Florence is expected to move slowly through South Carolina throughout the day Friday and Saturday, bring torrential rains - up to 100 cm (40 in) - and strong winds - currently measuring 150 km/h (90 mph). Catastrophic flooding is feared in the worst hit areas.
Florence is expected to weaken into a tropical storm by Saturday afternoon before turning north and moving through South Carolina, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee. It is then expected to weaken further into a tropical depression before traveling through western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern West Virginia on Monday. Florence is then currently forecast to move in a northeasterly direction, crossing over much of the Mid Atlantic and New England regions on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Hurricane warnings and watches remain in effect along the coasts of North Carolina and South Carolina, as far north as Cape Charles (Virginia). Over 1 million people remain under evacuation orders and thousands have sought emergency shelter.
More than 150,000 people have been reported without power as of Friday morning; some 3 million people in the Carolinas may suffer power outages in the coming hours and days. Over 1400 flights have been canceled across the East Coast; other transportation disruptions - closed, flooded, or blocked roads, suspension of public and rail services, etc. - are to be anticipated in the Carolinas and elsewhere in the path of the storm.
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.