Hurricane Florence makes landfall as torrential rains batter coast

Images captured with a wide-angle lens on board the Space Station have shown the mind-boggling scale of Hurricane Florence as it nears America's East Coast.

Cooper also requested additional federal disaster assistance in anticipation of what his office called "historic major damage" across the state.

First responders in North Carolina are scrambling to rescue residents stranded in the coastal town of New Bern.

More than 1.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate coastal areas ahead of the storm because of both destructive winds and a storm surge that could place normally dry land under at least 10 feet of water.

Since Tuesday, forecasts have shifted the storm track towards the south and southwest after it reaches the coast, which could increase the storm's severity in coastal SC through Myrtle Beach and Charleston and even into parts of Georgia.

Farther up the coast, in New Bern, about 150 people waited to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.

More than 12,000 were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 people in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Florence was menacing the U.S. coast just as Super Typhoon Mangkhut was threatening to spur chaos in parts of Asia. "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".

According to the NHC's forecast discussion at 12 p.m. on September 13: "The subtropical ridge to the northeast and east of Florence is now well-established between Bermuda and the US mid-Atlantic region and extends westward into Virginia and the central Appalachians".


Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The threat from Florence may spread to other states after the pummeling of the Carolinas.

Forecasters predict as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses.

Though earlier in the week there were fears that the storm could make landfall as a Category 5 hurricane, Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

It is the storm's movement and not its strength that has forecasters and officials anxious.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the centre of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

Trump faced severe criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria previous year in Puerto Rico. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

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