Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

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The clip shows water pouring down a street in the Outer Banks, leading to a damaged pier.

Conditions will deteriorate through Thursday (local time): Starting along the coast, winds will accelerate, the rain will intensify, and the ocean will surge ashore.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday.

The term "storm surge" refers to a tsunami-ish rise in coastal waters during a cyclone, which is called a hurricane in the Atlantic or a typhoon in the Pacific. On top of that, a disastrous amount of rain - 500mm, possibly even as much as 1m - is expected to fall. "Total innundation" is expected in eastern and southeastern North Carolina, as well as northern Southern California, and the storm surge could reach in "excess of 3.05m in some areas", Accuweather added.

"Do not focus on the wind speed category of Hurricane Florence!" the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida wanted in a tweet.

The deadliest and most destructive element of any hurricane, the storm surge from Florence could flood tens of thousands of structures, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate along 300 miles of coastline. Purchase your plan early, because you will no longer be able to purchase a policy with coverage for a named storm once it's deemed "foreseeable".

Outer rainbands of the Category 2 storm with tropical-storm-force winds had started lashing North Carolina's coast by mid-day Thursday.

Still, there are several other North and SC airports in the storm's path.

And while the 2,000-plus cancellations from Florence is significant, it's far below what fliers have faced in other major storms.

- Hurricane Florence remains a Category 2 storm as it makes its approaches to the Carolinas.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

Climate change will increase the number of both hurricanes and tornados.

Like a bulldozer, the storm's winds and forward motion will push a tremendous amount of water onshore when it makes landfall. With Florence, the potential for deaths by drowning comes from the storm surge as well as incredibly heavy rainfall. NBC News meteorologist Al Roker described Florence's potential storm surge as "the most risky part of the storm".

In North Carolina, the Wilmington International Airport said it "sustained a lot of leaks from the wind and rain" on Friday and was struggling to restore power. Of course, coupled with what could be tropical storm force wind gusts arriving as early as late tonight, there will likely be some trees knocked down as soils become quickly saturated. Strong winds may continue into Sunday. Its forward movement slowed to 12 miles per hour (19 kph) and top sustained winds stayed at 110 miles per hour (175 kph).

Here is a look at the latest wind speed probabilities over the next few days... "With the storm expected to linger, power restoration work could take weeks instead of days".