Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

As rescuers battled strong winds and debris-filled floodwaters to pluck hundreds of stranded people from their homes, officials confirmed at least three deaths from the monster storm, while USA media reported a fourth.

New Bern, the city on the North Carolina coast where the Neuse River and Trent River intersect, was reeling Friday after being inundated from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. The father was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries. Officials in South Carolina's Craven County say conditions are much worse than some residents expected, with almost 500 people calling the local emergency services hotline asking for help. One of the casualties, a 77-year-old man, died after reportedly being blown away by the howling winds.

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". Trump planned a visit to the region next week.

"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said.

By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters.

Both rivers overflowed their banks, flooding homes, stores and streets and trapping many people in their houses.

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down. please do not let your guard down", said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), earlier on Thursday.

NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push as far as 2 miles (3 km) inland.

Everything you need to know about Hurricane Florence
We will have tropical storm force winds and rain and storm surge continues to be our main concern with extreme flooding. Police said 150 to 200 residents have been rescued earlier on Friday and 150 or more were still awaiting rescue.

U.S. capital under state of emergency, evacuation ordered
Tuesday, Hurricane Florence had maximum sustained winds of about 130 miles per hour , a slight weakening from earlier the morning. Isaac became a tropical storm again approaching the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene was veering northward, no threat to land.

What the Erik Karlsson trade means for Colorado
Karlsson scored nine goals (his lowest full-season total) and registered 53 assists for 62 points in 71 games in 2017-18. A two-time Norris Trophy victor as the NHL's top blueliner, he has 126 goals and 518 points in 627 games.

Hurricane Florence roared ashore Friday morning, bringing punishing winds and rains. "This will cause extremely risky flooding", the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned.

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

At least 150 people were waiting to be rescued in New Bern, N.C., officials tweeted Thursday evening. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.

The bulk of the three media briefings held by police chief Dan House surrounded how they were still anticipating the serious and catastrophic storm surge as well as hurricane force winds.

On top of the potentially destructive hurricane, forecasters also put parts of North Carolina on tornado watch.

In Wilmington, the storm tore down numerous trees when its centre tore through the area Friday morning.

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