Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights as it zeroes in on the Southeastern coast.
"Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina as soon as this evening," the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.
The hurricane weakened to a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mph about 145 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina as of 11 a.m. ET Thursday. But authorities at the NHC warned Florence has an enormous wind field that has been growing larger, raising the risk of the ocean surging on to land and making Florence extremely dangerous. The storm is still expected to hit portions of the Carolinas with life-threatening storm surge and rainfall, according to the NHC.
"Do not focus on the wind speed category ... life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected," NHC said in a tweet.
A live stream of the storm is being broadcast from Frying Pan Tower, 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.