Florence pummels the Carolinas

By Brian Ries, Veronica Rocha, Meg Wagner, Paul P. Murphy and Eric Levenson, CNN
8:11 a.m. ET, September 17, 2018
6:43 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

"This is just the beginning": Tidal flooding seen in Kennel Beach, NC

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Todd Willis, owner of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, shared this video of tidal flooding in Kennel Beach, NC. “This is just the beginning,” Miller narrates in the video. “It hasn’t even gotten here yet and there’s already water [in the] bottom part of people’s houses.” 

See it here.

6:26 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

From Wilmington to Myrtle Beach, what to expect over the next 36 hours

From CNN's Brandon Miller

CNN has crews all over the Carolina coast as Hurricane Florence moves in. Here's what to expect from some of those locations over the next 36+ hours as we cover this massive storm.

Jacksonville/New Bern, NC

Synopsis: This is the first location to receive hurricane force winds, which should begin in the 6p-9p timeframe Friday night. Storm surge will also be highest in these locations, especially around the high tides (just after midnight and noon).

Winds: Hurricane force winds begin around 6p Thursday and will last through early afternoon on Friday. Winds will remain over 50 mph in this location through daylight hours and into Friday night.

Storm Surge: 8-12 feet This will be highest around the high tides at 1am and 1pm Friday

Wilmington/Carolina Beach, NC

Synopsis: Wilmington will see some of the worst conditions, and for the longest amount of time. Wilmington will also see the some of the highest rainfall totals for the storm, which could approach 40 inches.

Winds: Hurricane force winds will begin later tonight around 8 or 9p and will last for a full 24 hours. Wilmington will not see wind gusts drop below 50 mph until Saturday afternoon, at the earliest.

Storm Surge: 7-11 feet, high tide is 1:30a and 2p on Friday

North Myrtle Beach, SC

Synopsis: Tropical storm force winds are still offshore at the moment but will be moving into South Carolina in the next couple of hours. Winds will really pick up in this location early in the morning on Friday, building through the day and peaking late afternoon/evening.

Winds: Hurricane force wind gusts begin Friday morning by 5a and will last through evening hours. Winds above 50 mph last until daybreak Saturday morning. They will also change direction during Friday afternoon, going from a northerly wind to being from the south, at which time the storm surge will begin to be a concern.

Storm Surge: 4-6 feet, surge isn’t an issue until the wind changes direction on Friday afternoon

Myrtle Beach, SC

Synopsis: Rain bands will not reach this location until Friday morning, likely in the 4a-6a timeframe. Conditions will worsen through the day and should be at their worst from 2pm to 10pm Friday afternoon to evening.

Winds: Tropical Storm force winds should begin this evening around 7-8p and will stay above TS force until Saturday afternoon. The peak of the winds for them should occur stating Friday afternoon and last until early Saturday morning – likely peaking 7p-midnight Friday night where winds could gust up to 90 mph

Storm Surge: 4-6 feet, surge isn’t an issue until the wind changes direction on Friday afternoon

6:07 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence strengthens slightly

From CNN's Brandon Miller

Hurricane Florence has strengthened slightly, up to 105 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in a 6pm update on the storm. Florence remains a category 2 hurricane.

Hurricane force wind gusts are beginning to be felt along the central North Carolina coast and water levels are increasing quickly on the southern side of the Outer Banks. 

6:02 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

Nearly 70,000 are without power in North Carolina

From CNN's Chris Boyette

There are 68,892 customers are currently without power statewide according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

The top counties affected are Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow and Pamlico, the agency reported.

5:57 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

Frying Pan Tower: We'll replace the torn flag after the hurricane

The Facebook page for the Frying Pan Tower wants everyone to know they'll replace the torn American flag next time they're about to do it -- after the storm has passed.

"Hey folks, the last time we were out we put up a new flag. With respect, we will retire and replace it next trip. We see the tears and know that good men and women fought for America and are honored to fly old glory!" they write on the page.

"Please understand, this is a hurricane. We are not on the tower and can't go outside and replace it yet."

The flag can be seen live on its webcam, and it was torn by the hurricane's high winds earlier this afternoon.

5:36 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

NC mayor: It's "too late" for residents to leave

Beaufort Mayor Everette Newton just spoke to CNN and told us that it's "too late" for residents there to leave. Instead, they should hunker down and wait it out.

"It's really dangerous out right now, with lots of limbs coming down, lots of debris going around," he explained. "They need to shelter in place."

Watch:

5:20 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence is already downing trees and blowing off at least one roof

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on North Carolina.

This afternoon, the storm blew the roof off a small building in Atlantic Beach, according to CNN affiliated WGHP. WGHP photographer Chris Weaver captured the damage.

Meanwhile, about 40 miles northwest in New Bern, Florence has already downed some trees, according to the town's Twitter account.

5:12 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

Hurricane Florence slows down to 5 mph in latest advisory

From CNN's Eric Levenson and Judson Jones:

Hurricane Florence has sustained winds of 100 mph and is moving at a slowed-down pace of 5 mph, according to the latest forecast advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

"Florence has continued to slow down, and radar fixes over the past couple hours suggest that Florence has possibly stalled due to a re-organization of the eye/eyewall," the NHC said in its forecast discussion.

The storm is located about 100 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and Florence's center is expected to approach the Carolina coasts tonight and move near or over the coasts on Friday.

The center will release its next forecast at 8 p.m. ET. You can also follow Hurricane Florence’s path with CNN’s storm tracker.

4:32 p.m. ET, September 13, 2018

South Carolina governor says prison in evacuation zone will not be evacuated

From CNN's AnneClaire Stapleton

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said that a prison buildings in the evacuation zone for Hurricane Florence will not be evacuated.

Here's why: McMaster said it is on the edge of the zone, and it has "sturdy buildings."

He added: "We are as prepared as anyone in the country and probably more so,"