Emiratis in United States warned as Hurricane Florence approaches east coast

Time-lapse footage captured hurricane-hunting plane fly through Florence (VIDEO)

More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the "life-threatening" storm's path.

Hurricane Florence, growing in size despite its weakening winds, churned ever closer to the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday as evacuations expanded south from the Carolinas into Georgia to counter the threat of deadly high seas and calamitous floods.

Wilmington, North Carolina, just north of where the hurricane is expected to come ashore, was sunny around midday on Wednesday as the town appeared to be emptying.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 90 miles per hour (135 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

Update: As of 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence has dipped to a Category 2 hurricane strength with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

Early Wednesday afternoon in North Carolina, the storm was centered 700 kilometers (435 miles) off the coast, moving at 26 kph (16 mph) towards the USA coastline. Myrtle Beach is within an area under a hurricane warning that ran from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, at 2pm local time.

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said.

In fact, as with the aftermath of previous hurricanes, the region could eventually receive an economic boost once construction crews come out to rebuild and fix damage and as insurance payments and federal disaster aid flow in. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian Mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in the state ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, which dipped down in trajectory earlier this week.

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Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Many didn't realize that a mandatory evacuation had been issued for Wednesday night until they heard police driving through the streets at 8 a.m. telling people over a loudspeaker to evacuate.

Susan Faulkenberry Panousis said she has stayed on Bald Head during prior hurricanes, but not this time.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast.

Another four million people are under a tropical storm watch.

However, he reiterated that just that minor factor alone is not enough to cause the cyclone to make major changes.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life. "But no matter how bad it's going to be, it will pass and our job will be to rebuild this community together, and that's what we're going to do".

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