Carolinas Hunker Down As Florence Approaches

S Coastal residents leave creative notes for Florence

The fifth, a 78-year-old man, was found dead on a street outside of Kinston.

In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.

The centre of the hurricane made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and 90mph winds.

There was particular concern about the storm lingering once it nears the coast and moves onshore, allowing it to dump torrential amounts of rain in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas. Coast Guard officials urged peopkle needing help to call 911 - and not to use social media, such as Facebook, to seek help. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 840,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend. "Little rough but we're all out", a tweet said. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.

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They are already affecting companies , particularly the automobile industry, and hurting economies. Trump appeared nonchalant about whether China met with his trade representatives to make a deal.

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Evacuations of coastal North Carolina began at noon Monday, with Dare County officials calling for the entire county to evacuate. The winds will be strong enough to knock down trees, damage structures and cause widespread power outages, the center warned.

The damage occurred even though Sandy spun ashore as the equivalent of only a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 80 miles per hour, and was downgraded below hurricane status shortly thereafter.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's student paper, The Daily Tar Heel, reported that class has been canceled and students have been encouraged to leave the Chapel Hill area before the storm hits.

More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse. Numerous evacuees took their pets.

As of yesterday evening Singapore time, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island chain, had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Service said.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added. Trump planned a visit to the region next week.

When will it make landfall?

Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. Forecasters said Florence is expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, even as President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.

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