Race to rescue people stranded in U.S. hurricane

Hurricane Florence approaches landfall in North Carolina; more than 80,000 without power

Hurricane Florence approaches landfall in North Carolina; more than 80,000 without power

More than 80,000 people in North Carolina already were without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

As of 2 am local time, Florence was centered about 55 kilometers east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

Hurricane Florence has hit the United States coast leaving streets inundated with ocean water and tens of thousands of homes without power. Wind gusts 30-45 miles per hour.

In Rocky Point, North Carolina, Susan Bostic and her family were packing to leave Saturday morning, even though Florence's center was long gone.

The storm's center is crawling over SC, but many of its main rain bands still are over already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities. Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 miles per hour (9 km/h).

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Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

The NHC also warns of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" through early next week.

It is expected to move across parts of southeastern 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. Hurricane Florence will get a flat ground after its landfall for several miles which will further enhance the damaging capabilities of the Hurricane.

Twitter user Natasha Patterson shared video of flooding in New Bern, North Carolina on social media. Officials said about 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

200 people have been rescued from homes in New Bern, while another 150 were trapped on Friday morning.

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

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"Lots of water, lots of wind, lots of storm surge". Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey.

Emergency crews in North Carolina scrambled Friday to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters unleashed by Hurricane Florence.

Life-threatening storm surge is being reported along the coast of the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

As of noon, Swansboro, North Carolina, had almost 31 inches of rain, Emerald Isle had over 23, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot.

Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come.

TRINIS living in the USA were vigorously preparing themselves for Hurricane Florence which is forecast to make landfall along the eastern coast sometime today.

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