Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina

Hurricane Florence's onslaught threatens disaster in North Carolina

As of 1 p.m. ET, the storm's sustained winds dropped to 75 miles per hour as it wobbled west-southwestward near the coast, delaying its expected move inland, the National Hurricane Center said.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said. "But I think it'll be OK".

The Category 1 hurricane's center is expected to crash onshore sometime Friday and unload flash flooding, pounding wind and towering storm surges at least through Saturday.

The rain turned sideways Thursday, rivers swelled and floodwaters began to fill streets, as massive Hurricane Florence trudged toward North Carolina. As Cooper said, "There's nowhere for the water to go".

The downtown area of New Bern, a city of 30,000, was underwater and around 150 people were waiting to be rescued, authorities said on Twitter.

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

According to New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts, citizen volunteers with their own boats had offered to help the city coordinate rescues.

"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighborhood and making sure my neighbors are fine, because nobody can get in here".

There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says. The flooding was caused by overflow from the Pungo River, she wrote.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

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The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 miles per hour (34 kph) on Friday morning in Columbia. At the city's airport, the wind was gusting at 91 miles per hour.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

Florence arrived at the Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm, with winds far slower than the fearsome 150 miles per hour of just a few days ago. The forecasters have also warned that the expected rainfall could reach up to 40 inches and the storm is expected to slowly move southwest into SC before turning north.

News 6's Erik Sandoval was live in Wilmington shortly before the storm made landfall.

Some areas could receive as much as 40 inches (one meter) of rain, forecasters said.

As the storm moves inland it is expected to significantly weaken starting later today throughout the weekend.

Maue said Florence could dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

-More than 500 Nation Guard soldiers and airmen are responding to calls across the state.

In this photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station. A tweet from the NWS said the storm would be "a marathon vs. a sprint" as it hovered over the area dumping heavy rainfall.

For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit the FOX 46 Resource Center.

Storm clouds are seen over the 2nd ave pier as the force of Hurricane Florence is beginning to be felt on September 14, 2018 in Myrtle Beach, United States. Its designation then was "potential tropical cyclone six".

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