Hurricane Florence lashes USA east coast, triggers flood warnings

Re-entry protocol for the area's islands will vary depending on bridge conditions and local requirements

The 63-year-old former firefighter says he was able to sleep through the torrential rain and thrashing winds when then-Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, only waking up to texts he received at 7 a.m. from friends checking up on him.

And cameras aboard the International Space Station managed to catch incredible footage just a few minutes after the storm's landfall.

Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.

Isaac, which had built to tropical storm status when its winds topped 39 mph on Saturday, has weakened to a depression over the eastern Caribbean sea with winds of 35 mph and is moving west at 15 mph, lashing the Lesser Antilles with rain squalls as of the 5 a.m. advisory.

Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.

A forecast by the Weather Channel, presented by meteorologist Erika Navarro, has gone viral after its impressive use of 3D graphics showed just how deadly the potential storm surge of Hurricane Florence can be.

These types of slow-moving storms - like Hurricane Harvey - can be particularly unsafe because of the rain and flooding they can bring.

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"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said.

Corps staff worked with Army officials to review dams at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Jackson in SC to "ensure any effects of Florence on those dams are mitigated", said Ray Alexander, the Corps' inter-agency services chief.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

Flooding and a strong storm surge prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, spokeswoman Amber Parker said.

"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.

Downed trees, branches on the hurricane-lashed streets of Wilmington, North Carolina. Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water. "This is a life-threatening situation", the advisory said. Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometres from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometres.

What damage will it cause?

"And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.

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