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Astronauts on International Space Station showcase power of Hurricane Florence in photos

Astronauts on International Space Station showcase power of Hurricane Florence in photos

Florence is now rated a Category 3 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, but life-threatening storm surge and rainfall is still expected across portions of the Carolinas, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday. Tens of thousands were without power.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper urged residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest", said Peggy Perry, who was trapped with three relatives in her home in New Bern, CNN reported.

Millions of people could lose power across North and SC.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

But the danger comes not so much from the wind as from the storm surges, which could raise the sea level to 4 meters in some points and flood the coast.

Olivia is the first tropical cyclone to make landfall on Maui in modern history, National Weather Service forecasters said. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.

Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

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The hurricane, whose strength has been compared to a direct hit by Mike Tyson, advances with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour.

Their entire neighbourhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

To hammer home the point, The Weather Channel created graphics showing just how unsafe storm surges can be, explaining how these turbulent waters can include detritus, chemicals and even electricity.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland. "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place".

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who chose to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.