North Carolina TV station evacuates due to rising waters

Hurricane Florence turns deadly

The National Hurricane Centre said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

By mid-afternoon the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the center was moving west at 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

Based on the current track of Hurricane Florence, the central Midlands are expected to get 3-6 inches of rainfall, and 25 to 35 miles per hour winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service in Columbia.

At a hotel in Jacksonville, N.C. - about 60 miles northwest of Wilmington - about 70 occupants, including an infant and other children, were evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn after hurricane-force winds collapsed portions of the hotel's roof. "Trees are blowing down in the wind".

As Hurricane Florence made landfall, it appeared many North Carolinians had listened.

Hours before the storm made landfall September 14, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio.

Gov. Cooper said Friday, "As soon as it is safe, first responders will make sure they go and rescue people who need to be saved from this storm".

On Friday afternoon, Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw explained to NPR's All Things Considered that people stayed in their homes, despite evacuation orders, because storms that were predicted to be bad in the past, just didn't happen.

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

Florence will dump 40 inches (101.6 cm) of rain in some parts of the Carolina coast, forecasters said.

Forecasters warned of catastrophic flooding and other mayhem from the monster storm, which is only Category 1 but physically sprawling and risky. We see it happen in New Orleans and other areas.

The Associated Press Flooding caused by Hurricane Florence covers blocks of Front Street in downtown New Bern on Friday.

"Currently 150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", City Hall said on Twitter.

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Besides federal and state emergency crews, they were being helped by volunteers from the so-called "Cajun Navy" who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Cooper said in a statement.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3 1/2 feet (30 centimetres to 1 metre) as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris. "I'm in chest deep water, I need help, I need you to rescue me", she says. Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 169 km/hr the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.

The hurricane has torn buildings apart and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses.

The city of 29,000 that's near the North Carolina coast is surrounded by two rivers on the east and south. "We all know that".

Perry says his department has been in contact with power companies and gas pipeline operators.

"If you seek to prey upon the citizens of Brunswick County, we're going to do everything we can to lock you up", Ingram warned.

Hurricane Florence rolled ashore in North Carolina with howling 145km/h winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, trapping hundreds of people in high water as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

Hurricane Florence remains a significant storm surge and flash flood event, according to the latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power September 14 morning according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. North Carolina's Newport and Morehead City have seen about 19 inches of rain so far. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

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