According to the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) latest advisory at 8 p.m. EST, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was moving northeast at a speed of 10 mph.
Tornado watches are in effect for portions of South Carolina and eastern North Carolina, with more than 30,000 customers without power in North Carolina so far. The storm is also forecast to unleash strong winds and flash flooding.
"Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves," the NHC reported.
On Thursday evening, US President Donald Trump also confirmed that he talked to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and reassured residents that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is ready to assist the state.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2019
“It is serious, and it can be deadly,” Cooper warned at a news conference Thursday morning, Sputnik reported. “The message this morning is this: Get to safety and stay there. Don’t let your guard down. This won’t be a brush-by. Whether it comes ashore or not, the eye of the storm will be close enough to cause extensive damage in North Carolina.”
The storm is expected to head to southeast Virginia and southeast Massachusetts on Friday and Saturday.