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Space Station astronaut captures mammoth Hurricane Florence from directly above

Space Station astronaut captures mammoth Hurricane Florence from directly above

The outer edge of Hurricane Florence began buffeting the Carolinas with wind and rain on Thursday as forecasters warned the monster storm would trigger life-threatening flooding as it assaults the U.S. east coast.

Florence about to make landfall in N. Carolina causing life-threatening storm surge. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

Heavy surf crashes the dunes at high tide in Nags Head, N.C., on September 13 as Hurricane Florence approaches the coast.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 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 storm surge forecast associated with this storm has not changed". Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

The hurricane's surge could cover large swathes of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft (3.3m) of seawater. The city said early Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way.

A camera at the Frying Pan Tower located 34 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina has been livestreaming a view of the Atlantic Ocean since May, and is powering through the storm to dutifully record an American flag over the rising waves. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

More news: Hurricane Florence Looks Downright Terrifying From Space

Images captured with a wide-angle lens on board the Space Station have shown the mind-boggling scale of Hurricane Florence as it nears America's East Coast.

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 225km/h to 169km/h by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now". "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre said the storm would weaken after making landfall but also linger, dumping heavy rains for days.