Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT

HO/AFP/Getty Images In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the USA east coast as seen from the International Space Station.

As of 6 a.m., Florence was 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

According to Storyful, the video was shot at the Fish Heads Bar & Grill pier in Nags Head.

Landfall is expected late Thursday or early Friday, and the National Hurricane Center fears the storm "will slow considerably or stall, leading to a prolonged and exceptionally heavy and unsafe rainfall event Friday-Sunday".

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days. And when it comes to impacts like storm surge, size matters just as much as the winds, says Rick Luettich, a coastal physical oceanographer at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences.

Florence is lashing the state with "heavy rainbands with tropical-storm-force winds spreading across the Outer Banks and Coastal Southeastern North Carolina", the briefing said.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane yesterday evening with peak winds of 150km/h. It will then move along the "spine of the Appalachians".

The National Hurricane Center's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. In some counties, almost 1 in 3 people live below the poverty line.

For those in an evacuation area, "there is still time to get out", Cooper said Thursday.

An estimated one million people evacuated North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia as the storm moved close to the US.

The winds in Charleston, South Carolina, will start to pick up tonight and will remain fairly steady throughout the storm.

It's moving at 15 miles per hour, but as it nears the Carolina coast, it will dramatically slow down. Hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, while tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.

More than 1,200 USA airline flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday have been canceled, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

The storm's center was about 145 miles (235 km) east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as of Thursday night.

"It's not the middle of a hurricane yet, so why not come for a beer?" said Waters, 54. However, as the storm continues to track south, rainfall totals could increase.

5 a.m.: The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows little change to Florence's path or strength.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

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