Hurricane Florence fast facts:
- Hurricane Florence has started lashing North Carolina, with tropical storm-force winds carrying drenching bands of rainfall onto some beach communities
- Florence is a “large hurricane,” with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 195 miles, National Hurricane Center (NHC) says
- Forecasters don’t expect the storm to strengthen before it moves ashore, but they say the real problem will be water as it lingers along the coast through Saturday
- “It truly is really about the whole size of this storm,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says. “The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact — and we have that.”
- As of 2 p.m. ET, Florence was centered about 110 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 165 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph
- More than 10 million residents in North and South Carolina and Virginia are under storm watches or warnings; About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, National Weather Service says 20-40 inches of rain could fall near Wilmington, North Carolina.