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Hurricane Florence latest: Powerful storm to hit Carolinas on United States coast

15 September 2018, 08:09 | Devin Moran

WHAT'S HAPPENING: Florence will pose fatal threat for days

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 mph

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", she said.

"We know we're in for a long haul here", Cooper said of predictions that the storm will linger over the area.

In the besieged city of New Bern, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by midmorning Friday, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.

Wilmington should be ready for a prolonged and devastating impact as Hurricane Florence roars over Southeastern North Carolina on Friday. The governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain. News stations and citizens captured footage of the waters pouring down streets and invading homes.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Sandie Orsa, of Wilmington, who fears splintering trees will destroy her home. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

New Bern, which sits along the Neuse River, has seen massive flooding and damage from the storm. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background.

It's now pummeling the coast of North Carolina with 90mph winds and heavy rain, the CNN reported Friday.

Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls across the Carolinas.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.




Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday evening at 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 miles per hour (224 km/h) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm.

FBN's Jeff Flock with the latest on Hurricane Florence.

Millions were asked to evacuate the Carolina coasts as Florence approached this week. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water.

The storm's center was about 50 miles south of Morehead City at around 11 p.m. EST (0300 GMT Friday).

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

Pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

A weather station at a community college recorded a 100 miles per hour wind gust, and forecasters tweeted that a 91 miles per hour wind gust slammed into Wilmington's airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

Airlines cancelled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

The weather service later measured a storm surge 10ft deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast. "We are stuck in the attic".

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard".

Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.

Organizer Clyde Cain, told CNN the Cajun Navy was staged in New Bern and had received more than 500 calls for assistance.

People have left homes and taken precautions ahead of the hurricane.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C., September 13, 2018.



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