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The outer reaches of Hurricane Florence began lashing coastal North Carolina with heavy winds and flooded roads on Thursday ahead of an expected landfall that will bring walls of water and lingering downpours to parts of the US East Coast.
The NHC's latest statement warned a combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas to be flooded, with water levels expected to reach between 7 and 11 feet between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout in North Carolina, and higher in the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay Rivers.
FEMA's Long warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.
The downtown area of the city of 30,000 people was under water, city authorities tweeted.
"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way", said Dan House.
Across the Carolinas at least 188,000 people were without power early on Friday.
Even with millions of customers embracing mobile and digital offerings from banks - like peer-to-peer payment platforms such as Venmo and Zelle - many still take out and deposit cash in person or get paid via check rather than direct deposit. While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.
With storm surges of up to 11 feet predicted as Hurricane Florence strikes the Carolinas Friday, The Weather Channel created this sobering simulation with graphics that shows how risky that is - by putting their meteorologists into the virtual world. Forecasters expect Florence will drop 6 to 10 inches of rain in Wake County over the next few days, with higher amounts south and east of the Triangle.
Tourists flee as cliff face falls on to holiday beach
A general view shows the beach Navagio following a rockfall , in the island of Zakynthos, Greece September 13, 2018. The weight of the rock sent a small tsunami across the sands as tourists scrambled to reach safety.
The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state.
The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.
BB&T, which is based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and operates 1,900 branches across the country, is likely to be among the most affected by Hurricane Florence.
The coastal area of SC features hundreds of inlets while North Carolina has barrier islands miles away from the mainland.
"The storm surge forecast associated with this storm has not changed".
Virginia and Georgia are also under states of emergency, but it's North and SC that are positioned to suffer the worst of the storm's wrath.
Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo.
Instead they drove 150 miles inland to his mum's house in Durham. Anyone in an evacuation zone in the Carolinas and Virginia must leave NOW if they haven't yet.
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