New Bern rescues continue amid Florence floodwaters in NC

Hurricane Florence causes 'catastrophic' flooding after hitting US coast

"The slower it moves, the longer these rain bands take", National Hurricane Center Ken Graham warned.

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

Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event".

Wilmington Police confirmed that a mother and her infant died when a tree fell on their home. The father was hospitalized with injuries.

The third death happened in Hampstead, Pender County when a woman had a medical emergency and EMS crews could not get to her due to the storm, according to Tom Collins, Director of Emergency Management. The person was killed while plugging in a generator.

U.S. media said a fifth death may have occurred when a man tried to connect two extension cords in the rain. His body was discovered by family members. Hundreds have been rescued from their homes.

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding". Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Sample said that when he looked outside of his house, which is about 1,000 yards from the beach, he saw the rain pooling up on the street and what looked like storm surge coming up the road. Collins says they have a front loader they're using to clear the roads, but a tree went through the windshield of it.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon. He made a plan B: If the water reached the house, he'd take the pets upstairs to the second floor. But once New Bern TV news station WCTI evacuated its newsroom Thursday night because of flooding and people began to lose power, the seriousness of the situation began dawning on folks, she said.

"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

"Things here are very, very serious", he said. The video left many wondering if the weatherman was faking his dramatic reaction to make the hurricane appear worse than it actually is.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimates up to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence. It was also expected to slip briefly back into the open water during the journey.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

A man sits on a park bench in a flooded park as the Cape Fear River rises above its usual height in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday. Wind gusts of 105 miles per hour - the highest recorded since 1958 - were reported in Wilmington Friday morning.

All North Carolina state parks are already closed or will close today and will remain closed through Sunday.

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