Hurricane Florence Pictures, Videos Show First Effects of Storm

The first pictures and videos out of Hurricane Florence appeared on Thursday, showing conditions on the Carolina coast and elsewhere as the storm closed in. The region was preparing for Florence to make landfall Thursday night or Friday evening before moving even farther inland.

Rain and wind hit the region on Thursday as the storm closed in. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorities said the outer bands of the storm would hit fully in just a few hours.

See the latest updates on Hurricane Florence's path and potential affected areas here.

Photos and videos from Thursday showed massive winds whipping up waves on the North Carolina coast as the first of the storm's effects were felt. Other images, including one posted by WSOC-TV meteorologist John Ahrens, revealed water beginning to cover the roads in Florence, South Carolina.

A video captured from the International Space Station, meanwhile, showed the Hurricane as it closed in on the Eastern Seaboard—the swirling clouds appearing massive from space.

Other pictures from the scene showed boarded up businesses in barren neighborhoods, after residents evacuated, fleeing the path of the storm. Some pictures showed people gathering—despite the severe conditions—to watch as waves lashed from the storm.

In the latest update on the storm released at 11 a.m. on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said wind speeds had decreased slightly, to 105 miles per hour, but that potential storm surges still posed a massive danger. The NHC said a "life-threatening" storm surge was highly likely on the coasts of the Carolinas, particularly between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers and western Pamlico Sound.

"Catastrophic effects will be felt outside the center of the storm due to storm surge as high as 9 to 13 feet," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Thursday. "That's the second story of a house. Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded and many more by rising rivers and creeks."

The storm was still a Category 2 on Thursday afternoon and was expected to make landfall either Thursday night or Friday morning, lingering in the area for hours or days.

Hurricane Florence Waves
Waves crash against Oceanana Pier as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence hit the coast of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, on September 13. Coastal cities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under evacuation orders as the Category 2 hurricane approached the United States. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Hurricane Florence Waves Ocean
Waves batter Oceanana Pier as the storm hits Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, on September 13. In the latest update on the storm released at 11 a.m. on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said wind speeds had decreased slightly, to 105 miles per hour. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Floodgates are closed on the Georgetown waterfront in anticipation of Hurricane Florence, in Washington, D.C., on September 13. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Hurricane Florence Evacuations
Bob Cavanagh (left) and Linda Moore (center) wait in an evacuation shelter at Conway High School in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, in Conway, South Carolina, on September 13. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Hurricane Florence Evacuated Houses
Windows and doors are boarded up to protect them from Hurricane Florence, in Morehead City, North Carolina, on September 12. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Hurricane Florence Looters
Doug Lewis (left) and Chris Williams secure plywood with the warning “Looters will be shot”' to protect the windows of Knuckleheads Bar and Grill ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on September 12. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Hurricane Florence Pictures, Videos Show First Effects of Storm | U.S.