September 14, 2018
Hurricane Florence, from which tropical storm-force winds are extending almost 200 miles, began pounding the Carolina coastline Thursday night as officials made last-minute pleas for residents to evacuate. Landfall is expected later today.

Here is the latest:
-- Hurricane-force winds struck portions of the North Carolina coast, as water levels rose along the coastline and the threat of tornadoes increased further inland.
-- The storm surge is expected to worsen during high tide in the Atlantic Ocean.
More than 185000 without power as Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coast
-- Around 2 a.m. local time on Friday, the storm was moving west-northwest at 6 mph with wind speeds of about 90 mph. Late Thursday, Florence was about 50 miles south of Morehead City, North Carolina, and 60 miles east-southeast of Wilmington. Earlier, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observing site at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, reported sustained winds of 83 mph and a gust of 106 mph.
-- Though the storm, once a Category 4, was downgraded Thursday night to a Category 1 from a Category 2, the danger is very real. Parts of North Carolina may see as much as 40 inches of rain and storm surges could be as high as 13 feet.
"Flooding and the storm surge -- those are the two main things that kill people, and this storm is not letting up," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday.
The storm will churn very slowly Friday and Saturday, extending the damaging winds and huge amounts of rain that will hit the same areas of North and South Carolina for 24 hours.
-- High winds and floodwaters could knock power out for several days, if not longer, officials said. More than 180,000 customers already were without power in North Carolina Thursday evening -- and that number is likely to rise.

'Don't risk your life'
Florence has prompted massive evacuations.
For those in an evacuation area, "there is still time to get out," Cooper said Thursday. "Don't risk your life riding out a monster storm."
More than 185000 without power as Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coast
"You're potentially risking the life of a first responder who would try to come and help you, and we don't need that," he added. "I know it's difficult to move, and I know that you are leaving things behind that you don't want to leave behind, but no possession is worth your life."
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster added: "Time is running out. Now is the time to go because that window of opportunity is closing on you very quickly."
(PHOTOS: Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast)

Ignoring evacuation calls
But not everyone has packed their bags.
Kelly Salisbury said she's staying put in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, even though most of the town left.
More than 185000 without power as Hurricane Florence lashes North Carolina coast
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