Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas as it nears landfall

Hurricane Florence slams North Carolina with rain and wind as it closes in on southeast coast

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". "But I think we're ready".

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 km/h), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night in the US. We will have tropical storm force winds and rain and storm surge continues to be our main concern with extreme flooding.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina. Florence dumped more than 20 inches on Oriental, N.C., the NHC said.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

The No. 1 mission right now, Cooper said, is to save lives.

A North Carolina weatherman who remained at his post to provide live updates on Hurricane Florence was forced to evacuate mid-broadcast as the TV station began to flood.

Morehead City resident Rebecca Marson decided not to evacuate because her surgeon husband wanted to remain behind with other first responders.

In a new demonstration of the network's CGI capabilities, hosts have presented from the centre of a digital storm surge to demonstrate the hurricane's damaging potential. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

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Florence's fiercest winds will linger around the coast for hours since the storm was moving forward at only 6 mph (9 km/h).

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

Roughly 1 million people are under evacuation orders.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

According to the BBC, floodwaters may ride up to 13ft (4 metres) and Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, Brock Long, explained: "So this is a very unsafe storm".

To prepare for this storm, businesses have been boarding up, and supplies have been readied for what is expected to be a large-scale relief operation.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms. Thousands of soldiers from their National Guard forces have been mobilized. The fear is that during that slow march west, it'll drop torrential rains, flooding low-lying areas and overwhelming rivers. That advisory came out on August 30, when Florence was developing near the Cabo Verde Islands across the Atlantic.

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