Thursday, September 16, 1999 Published at 04:04 GMT 05:04 UK
Eyewitness: Floyd hits North Carolina
With shops boarded up, Wilmington is a ghost town
By Kevin Anderson in Wilmington, North Carolina
It is the calm before the storm as the winds die down briefly and rain subsides.
The storm has already given the US Atlantic coast - from Florida all the way up to Maryland - a taste of its power with torrential rains and lashing winds.
The storm has weakened. It began the day with sustained winds more than 150mph (240kmh), but is now subsiding to 115mph (185kmh).
North Carolina prepares for the worst
In the state's coastal areas, up to nine inches of rain (23cm) have already fallen, stranding motorists and flooding streets.
The storm is now predicted to come ashore near the state line between South and North Carolina - close to Wilmington - and the city is full of evidence of the preparations.
Michael Moore - who has braved eight hurricanes in his life, the worst of them Hurricane Fran three years ago - has reinforced the windows of his shop with tape, hoping to give them some strength against the howling winds.
At his home, he says he did nothing more than secure everything in the yard so that "it doesn't blow around and break anything. Nothing more than that. No boarding at home."
"We've had such warnings that it was going to be such a huge storm. Most people don't board up as severely as they've done this time. There's been a lot a fear with this storm."
Randy Causey lists past storms - Fran, Bertha and Bonnie - as if they were members of his family.
"You just sit back and enjoy it, make the best of it," he said.
If he lived on the beach, he might be afraid, but as with the other hurricanes, he will sit securely in his shop in the Wilmington's historic district.
"Some of these buildings are 100 years old, and the walls must be 18 inches thick," he said.
He said that he had some apprehension about Floyd mostly because it will come during the night.
The dark of night will hide some of the damage, and residents of Wilmington will have to listen to the roaring wind and wait until first light to tally the damage.
For now, Wilmington is a ghost town. The streets are empty except for the police who Police cruised the streets ready to enforce a 10 o'clock curfew.
It may be calm now, but Mr Moore said, "it'll change, in about two hours."