Wind gusts from Florence shred Wilmington gas station

Winds from Hurricane Florence destroyed this Wilmington, N.C. gas station; Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Credit: Live Storms Media / Gabe Cox)

A gas station in Wilmington, N.C. was torn to shreds overnight Friday.

The awning of the Coastal Fuels gas station was torn apart by Florence's punishing winds.

Hurricane Florence continues to bring gusts of 90 -105 mph to the North Carolina coast. The National Hurricane Center observed sustained wind speeds between 40 mph and 80 mph early Friday and maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

The storm is leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Property damage, downed trees and power lines were observed at first light Friday. As of 10 a.m., North Carolina Emergency Services reported more than 485,000 residents in the state were without power.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm before making landfall Friday morning.

The storm system, initially a Category 4, lost much of its intensity in terms of wind speed before hitting the Carolina coast.

Florence is still a massive storm, estimated to be 400 miles in diameter, according to NASA. It is moving at a slow pace of only 5 mph. High winds and heavy rains are expected to linger through the weekend.

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