People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018. Eastern Time on Thursday.
Duke Energy reported more than 11,000 outages in Surf City, Emerald Isle and Havelock, and the co-ops listed more than 9,000, concentrated in Carteret and Craven counties.
The number of residential properties indicated does not include inland flooding, CoreLogic said. Millions of people are expected to lose power from the storm and restoration could take weeks.
The storm's first casualties, which included a mother and her baby killed when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina, were announced about eight hours after Florence came ashore. But residents inland are warned to expect life-threatening floods and should plan to be without power for days.
Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.
In Wilmington, residents who had decided not to evacuate were lining up to get ice from a vending machine - $2 for a 16-pound bag.
Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic. Airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.
In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a heart attack and died because hurricane debris blocking roads prevented paramedics from reaching her.
Along the waterfront in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a city dependent on tourism, stores and restaurants were boarded up, with some protective plywood spray-painted with quotes of encouragement. "It's going to be a devastating time for many, many people up and down the coast", as she removed items from an office and moved boats into a cove. Hurricane-force winds are expected to spread to parts of the coast Friday.
Kaplan has been working with emergency managers in North Carolina and school administrators in Boston and Charlotte to coordinate the university's response. "Corn harvest ranges 75 percent in the east to just beginning in the west", said Steve Troxler, the state's agricultural commissioner. O'Shaughnessy, head of US Northern Command, said search and rescue would be a top priority, but weather may prevent rescuers from getting in during the hours immediately after the storm hits. Forty inches of rainfall are possible in some areas of North Carolina. "Catastrophic effects will be felt outside the centre of the storm".
"Don't relax", Cooper said on Thursday. Places that are best prepared to cope with natural disasters are ones where people think about the needs of themselves and their neighbors, he said. "The broadening of the event also signals that storm surge and flooding will remain important drivers of overall loss.
The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.
Dozens of North Carolina school districts were closed, as well as almost all schools in the University of North Carolina system. Athletic events, notably college football games, also were postponed.
Emergency officials on Wrightsville Beach were able to assess the beginning impacts of Hurricane Florence before day turned to night Thursday.
Hurricane Florence has only just begun to wreak havoc along the Carolina coastlines, but already people are capturing absolutely shocking footage of the storm surges from the category 2 hurricane. According to the National Hurricane Center, wave heights up to 83 feet were measured Wednesday morning to the northeast of Florence's eye.