Hurricane Center: Florence close to landfall in N. Carolina

Rain begins to fall as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall in Myrtle Beach South Carolina on 13 September 2018

More than 60 others had to be rescued as a cinderblock motel collapsed.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

"We had a run of them in '96 when there was like five or six, or maybe more than that", he said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

"Now we just have to figure out how to get hot coffee", said Mary Holland, standing on the porch of her home that was built in 1889.

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, unleashing severe flooding.

Hurricane Florence claimed its first victims Friday, after a mother and her baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. The deaths also included that of a person killed while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said.

Now ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern.

It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560-km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15 am (9.15pm AEST) at Wrightsville Beach, a few kilometres east of Wilmington, as the centre of its eye moved onshore, the National Hurricane Centre said. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolinas, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

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

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.


Florence was one of two major storms on Friday. One of those bears, typically bolted in front of a downtown business, floated on South Front Street, prompting the city to tweet: "Some of our beloved bears have wandered off".

It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

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.

Another woman who was rescued by another group in New Bern told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360˚" that she and her family thought they would be safe in their brick home and heard the storm had been downgraded from a Category 4.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

At least 188,000 people were without power in North Carolina and SC early on Friday. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, he calculated.

Published on Sep 14, 2018 01:30 Pm (IST): Hurricane Florence is all set to pound hefty rainfall over the Carolinas and Virginia as it is likely to make landfall in the next 6 to 8 hours. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

A gust of 105 miles per hour (169 kph) was recorded at the Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago. Airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said about 200 people have been rescued so far.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers". Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters.

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

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