The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.
Hurricane Florence has weakened somewhat early Thursday as its outer bands approach the North Carolina coast, but weather officials cautioned that the storm will still bring life-threatening conditions. Earlier forecasts showed that the storm was slated to directly hit around North and SC.
The Portuguese weather service said that wind gusts of up to 74 mph are possible by the weekend in the Azores, an island chain about 850 miles west of Portugal. Expect rain chances to be more typical at 40 percent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It was moving 10 miles per hour toward the Port City, the advisory said. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.
Another commenter said: 'That hurricane better be taking me to dinner first'.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds across the state.
That's almost double the wave heights documented on Tuesday, when the NHC said satellites had observed "an expansive area of wave heights 12 feet or greater" circulating around Hurricane Florence and peak waves of 45 feet near its center. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.
While one man concluded: 'We are about to get pounded, but since we have absolutely no control over it, all you can do is laugh, and pray for the best'.