NHC says Florence has weakened to a tropical storm

NHC says Florence has weakened to a tropical storm

"We will have a powerful storm surge and winds".

On Sept. 14 at 3:18 a.m. EDT (0718 UTC) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an infrared view of Florence. Those storms had cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62.2 Celsius).

Teddie Davis goes to check on one of the town's signature bears that was toppled by Hurricane Florence in downtown New Bern, N.C., on Friday.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 200kmh winds on Thursday, but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding.

Overall, risky storm surge is possible all the way from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. The storm is expected to slow down, stall and then perhaps wander just off the Carolina shore as it nears the coast Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina. Tropical storm watches extend as far north as Norfolk, Virginia. A Doppler radar picture in the background that kept rolling amid the silence showed Florence swirling toward the coast.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that would see the system likely lingering for days. So far, floods as deep as 6.3 feet and wind gusts as fast as 105 miles per hour have been recorded. Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7.15 am, the National Hurricane Centre said.

The storms path is promising to bring even more devastation than first predicted to the Carolinas and parts of Georgia. "This surge is also likely along portions of the SC coast". "Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances". The following list encompasses local, national, and worldwide organizations offering a variety of services during the crisis.

Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever increasing accuracy where it will hit and who will get walloped.

"We may have 60% of the tobacco harvested in North Carolina".