Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

People in the storm's path shared video on social media of the now-Category 1 hurricane's still-intense 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) winds as the eyewall moved through Wilmington, North Carolina.

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Cat 2, please do not let your guard down", said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), speaking earlier Thursday.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, Florence is expected to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, whose river was forecast by Monday to reach two feet above the record level it hit during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said.

The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state.

Rivers in the waterfront city of New Bern began to overflow, swamping the streets with flood water and forcing residents to evacuate the area.

According to Colleen Roberts, a spokeswoman for the city, 150 people were waiting to be rescued Friday morning after about 200 were rescued overnight.

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Helping with rescues there were members of the so-called Cajun Navy, a group of Louisiana-based volunteers who became famous during last year's Hurricane Harvey, locals said on Twitter. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

Friday's forecast from the National Weather Service calls for patchy drizzle with scattered showers with a low around 70 degrees and northeast wind around 9 miles per hour.

Metal debris are flying in Wilmington, where Florence made landfall. He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks. The storm is massive and was a Category 4 hurricane at its worst that will devastate anything it encounters.

And as the storm pushes inland, it could dump 6-10 inches as far inland as Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina as well as in Roanoke, Virginia, he said. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.

Officials said people refusing to evacuate could end up alone, drenched and in the dark, as rescue crews won't go out to help in winds above 50 miles per hour.

Horton pleaded for volunteers to take in their animals for the duration of the storm, a common, plaintive refrain at other shelters across the area. "I'm a little bit scared right now, but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".

Anyone in an evacuation zone in the Carolinas and Virginia must leave NOW if they haven't yet.