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Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Some people who had rejected calls to evacuate the targeted area took walks along the water as they tried to enjoy a few final hours of normalcy before Florence's fury arrived. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters, and others could only hold out hope someone would come for them.

"We've got to quickly understand the damage that's been done to the transportation systems, the communication systems, the power systems, and we are positioning, and have bene positioned for multiple days now, to get those critical lifelines back up and stable as quickly as we can", he said.

'Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you'.

Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C., September 13, 2018.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and is moving slowly, at 6 miles per hour.

What started as a Category 4 hurricane is now Category 1 as of Thursday night, but the National Hurricane Center continues to urge people to be wary of the severe weather that is pummeling the area.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

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

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In a display of the early effects of the storm, one flood gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina, showed 10 feet (three meters) of flooding, the NHC said. Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Coastal streets were inundated with ocean water, causing damage to dozens of homes and businesses, officials said.

Structures, such as this one in Swansboro, collapsed as the storm surge and hurricane force winds whipped through the area.

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.

"This is a life-threatening situation", the advisory said.

The storm could dump 20 to 30 inches of rain along the Carolina coast and up to 12 inches inland.

The water "is as high as it's ever been, and waves are breaking on my point, which is normally grass", said Copeland, a freelance photographer for The Associated Press.

Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. "Nothing's hit the house yet, but it's still blowing". Federal officials say they don't want people to fear going to shelters. The town's public information officer, Colleen Roberts, told CNN 150 more people were awaiting rescue.

"Some say North Carolina is getting a break, but we are on the wrong side of this story", he said.


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