The outer edge of Hurricane Florence began buffeting the Carolinas with wind and rain on Thursday as forecasters warned the monster storm would trigger life-threatening flooding as it assaults the usa east coast. "Today the threat becomes a reality".
Forecasters said some of Florence's outer bands could bring heavy rain and perhaps isolated flooding to Maryland, and they warned that significant coastal flooding was possible along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay as winds push waters on shore.
One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".
Wilmington resident Julie Terrell said she was concerned after walking to breakfast past a row of shops fortified with boards, sandbags and hurricane shutters. "We have to keep watching".
Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come. The center of the hurricane will remain close to the coast Friday, "with much of the circulation still over water".
"We're watching [Florence], but it's not going to affect us in the near term", Tome said. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".
"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.
The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.
After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said.
Inmates at the Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston County and the Berkeley County Detention Center will not be moved elsewhere, according to Buzzfeed News.
She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.
In Baltimore, city officials were providing sandbags to residents in Fells Point on Thursday.
Florence is forecast to dump up to one metre (40 ins) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Linda Foy said the utility has withdrawn requests for extra help from crews in other states.
Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon.
As of 4 a.m., maximum sustained winds were at 90 miles per hour.
"If you live in a low-lying area that has flooded in the past three years, now is the time to evacuate".
"We are extremely concerned with the streams and rivers at full capacity", Ringgold said. Heavy rainfall began after dark.
As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.
He said the magnitude of the storm may exceed the ability of the state-activated National Guard troops.