Heavy rain, gusting winds and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence deluged the US Carolinas on Thursday as the massive, slow-moving storm crept toward the coastline, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf.
Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6
mph (9 km/h).
But the hurricane's sheer size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for nearly a full day, according to weather forecasters. Despite its unpredictable path, it was forecast to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday on Friday.