Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

With Hurricane Florence and other storm systems such as Isaac Helene Joyce and Olivia raging in the waters around the US here are the terms you need to know

Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

A disastrous amount of rain will exacerbate the storm surge. The hurricane center described the storm surge as "life-threatening".

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100 miles per hour (160 kph), but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

"We had pretty high floodwaters up until the early morning hours", Risty-Davis tells NPR's Morning Edition.

The National Weather Service shared images of Union Point on the shore at New Bern before and after the storm surge hit. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centres were moved out of the storm's path.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost nine metres high as Florence churned toward shore.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. These are numbers that far exceed what fell on the same region during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week. Between both Carolinas, there is a total of 6,400 guardsmen on duty ahead of the storm.

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The simulation even includes a vehicle floating behind her as Navarro warns that rising water levels "could even float some cars". As the water drains off mountains and hills through the weekend, rivers will swell beyond their banks and flood surrounding communities and farms.

The storm officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 am (local time), the National Hurricane Center said.

There is around 156,068 people that have lost power and police have suspended their services in Morehead City and other coastal cities, warning any residents who remain in the evacuation zone that they will be without emergency services until the storm passes.

The rain threat may not stop in the Carolinas. She plans to continue to ride out the storm.

In a display of the early effects of the storm, one flood gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina, showed 10 feet (three meters) of flooding, the NHC said.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting two trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves, " it said. In these areas, the ground has already been saturated by weeks of higher-than-normal rainfall.

Thanks to its Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), NASA has shown an incredible 3D view of Hurricane Florence as it approached the eastern part of the U.S.

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