Hurricane Florence began lashing the North Carolina coast on Thursday, with heavy surf pounding the Outer Banks and barrier islands, winds shredding flags, and a storm surge pushing seawater over some beaches and past oceanfront homes.
"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.
Hundreds of people are awaiting rescue from their homes in New Bern, North Carolina, as flood waters continue to rise from Hurricane Florence. The family is hoping for the best, given the potential threats the hurricane poses to lives and properties.
Response teams had already "brought in busloads" of rescued people from areas including Fairfield Harbor, New Bern, Adams Creek and Township 7, she said.
Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere near an end.
The drugstore closed about 100 locations in mandatory evacuation areas in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
More than 634,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.
"And when the tide comes back up around noon, we will be inundated with additional storm surge", she said.
But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.
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"A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials' orders, news stations and weather forecasts in order to be informed of the situation", Russell Strickland, executive director of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, said in a statement earlier this week.
There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries.
Joyce, with winds extending about 35 miles from its center, is expected to tap the brakes a bit and turn eastward by Friday night, and then accelerate northeastward over the weekend.
For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.
Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.
North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities. She said she is anxious that if she evacuates, she'll get caught up in the massive flooding that's expected to affect the region.
Atlantic Beach was receiving winds of roughly 65-75 miles per hour as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a Fox News report.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life.