Sep. 6--Hurricane Dorian's trail of destruction and flooding has it on the verge of North Carolina Thursday night, after spending the day working up the South Carolina coast.
Although Dorian continued to lose strength Thursday night, it remained a Category 2 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 100 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center's 8 p.m. update.
The storm is picking up speed as it approaches North Carolina, traveling northeast at 10 mph, the hurricane center reported.
The eye of the storm was about 30 miles south of Cape Fear, and 60 miles out of Wilmington as of 8 p.m., according to the NHC.
As of 9 p.m., there is no information Dorian made landfall, according to National Weather Service Wilmington office meteorologist Jordan Baker.
"It's still out to shore," Baker said in an interview with McClatchy news group. "It's going to be close, but it might push far enough east not to make landfall."
Baker said any possible landfall from Dorian would occur before 11 p.m. based on the hurricane's current speed.
While Dorian is already affecting North Carolina, its impact from its time along the South Carolina coast is clear.
More than 230,000 power outages were reported by coastal South Carolina customers Thursday, and most were in the Charleston area, where more than 120,000 people had lost power.
Dozens of roads were flooded, and watches and warnings for tornadoes, flash floods and storm surge were growing north of Myrtle Beach into North Carolina.
A 98 mph wind gust was recorded on the South Carolina coast at 3 p.m., according to the hurricane center.
Flash flooding and storm surges remain the greatest threats caused by Dorian, the hurricane center tweeted.
As the storm continued to trek north, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster lifted his evacuation order for Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton counties, areas of the Lowcountry that the storm had passed.
Evacuation orders were still in effect for Charleston, Dorchester, Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties, as Dorian was forecast to hit the Grand Strand region.
"We are still battening down the hatches in the other five (coastal) counties, and we want everybody to be alert," McMaster said at a news conference.
Tornadoes began to form on the northern edge of the storm just after dawn, including two reported in Horry County near Myrtle Beach, according to the Sun News.
Multiple tornadoes were also reported In North Carolina.
A waterspout ripped through Emerald Isle about 9 a.m, destroying multiple mobile homes. A tornado touched down in Brunswick County, "leaving a trail of damage approximately 10 miles long near Calabash and Sunset Beach," according to N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper's office.
A funnel cloud was also recorded on video about 7 a.m. in Pender County near Fire Station 18, the National Weather Service tweeted.
As the damage and flooding mounted, evening curfews were announced in multiple communities near the N.C. coast, and a daytime curfew began at noon Thursday in Southport, N.C., "until further notice," according to the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office.
"Conditions are deteriorating and with confirmed tornadoes in the area, it is simply not safe to be out," Brunswick County officials said on Facebook.
Even as Dorian moves further away from South Carolina, its dangerous effects remain in its wake. Tropical storm conditions were still affecting the northern portion of the South Carolina coast, according to the hurricane center's 8 p.m. update.
But most of the hurricane warnings along the S.C. coast have been reduced to tropical storm warnings, and some other warnings have been removed entirely south of Edisto Beach, according to the NHC.
Hurricane warnings are still in effect for the North Carolina coast.
In North Carolina, predictions of rainfall in excess of 10 inches continued to grow, with nearly all coastal counties expected to get 10 to 15 inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Heavy rainfall is predicted to fall far from the eye of the storm, the hurricane center tweeted.
While Dorian is expected to slowly weaken in the next few days, it will continue to be a "powerful hurricane" as it moves up the Carolinas coast, according to the NHC's 5 p.m. update.
Even if it never makes landfall, the storm can affect areas far inland with tropical-storm-force winds that extended 220 miles out from Dorian's eye at 5 p.m., according to the hurricane center. Hurricane force winds extended 60 miles out.
A video tweeted by Live5News reporter Paola Tristan Arruda at 1:15 a.m showed Charleston's famous North Market Street had become a river through the historic downtown, as emergency lights flickered on buildings.
Charleston had more than 50 road closures early Thursday, many due to flooding and others due to high winds bringing down trees and power lines, according to the city's website.
A tree crashed into a North Charleston home just before 5 a.m., but the damage could have been worse if the little boy whose room was demolished hadn't been sleeping in another room, WCSC reported.
Just before 8 p.m., McMaster tweeted he spoke with President Donald Trump about Dorian. The governor said Trump offered "any assistance needed."
McMaster said FEMA officials were on the ground with him as the hurricane affected South Carolina.
The president tweeted about his conversation with McMaster, as well as speaking with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Georgia's Brian Kemp.
"Just talked to Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina as Hurricane Dorian ominously comes up the East Coast," Trump said, adding the White House is ready to help all three states and urging followers to "BE SAFE!"
In North Carolina, mandatory evacuations were in place for barrier islands. Coastal counties near the bays, coastal rivers and sounds also called for residents to evacuate near the coast.
Dorian is expected to bring deadly storm surge, flooding and tornadoes to the coast through the day Thursday as it heads toward the Outer Banks.
Forecasters have not predicted a potential area of landfall on the Carolinas, but suggest it could cross onto land at any point.
Coastal flooding was expected to reach 4 to 8 feet above normal levels from the Savannah River in South Caroline north to Cape Lookout on the Outer Banks, the National Hurricane Center said.
"The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the how close the center of Dorian comes to the coast, and can vary greatly over short distances."
The Pamlico County Sheriff's Office said a man suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday after pulling his boat out of the water in Oriental, WTVD reported.
The man's identity has not been made public, according to WITN.
North Carolina's state medical examiner reported the state's first Dorian-related death occurred Monday, when an 85-year-old Columbus County man "fell off a ladder while preparing his house for the storm."
At least three of the 20-plus deaths attributed to the storm have involved men falling off ladders as they prepared for the storm or tried to remove trees, according to The Weather Channel. Most of the deaths occurred in the Bahamas.
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