'Dead Calm': Jeff Flock Assesses Damage as Eye of Hurricane Florence Passes

Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue Keiyana Cromartie 7 and her family from their flooded home on Friday in James City N.C. near New Bern

Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue Keiyana Cromartie 7 and her family from their flooded home on Friday in James City N.C. near New Bern

Florence arrived at the Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm - its 90 miles per hour sustained winds far below the fearsome 150 miles per hour that it packed just days ago.

"We're not the Grand Hyatt, but it's an option for people", said Mr. Brady, who thanked everyone for the comments on his post, which has been viewed nearly 1 million times.

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

Twitter user Natasha Patterson shared video of flooding in New Bern, North Carolina on social media.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along the Carolinas' coast - punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind.

At least 12,000 people sought refuge in shelters in the state and almost 300,000 customers were reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached.

Roberts said rescuers were facing very challenging conditions, but assured residents help was on the way. They are stuck in their attic and their home is flooded.

But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience", he warned.

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend", the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. The network also reported that about 12,000 people are in 126 evacuation shelters, according to state officials.

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC | New Hampshire

The fresh water flooding will also be a major issue as the storm moves inland.

With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Officials said at least 150 people were "awaiting rescue" early Friday morning as the unsafe.

"We've planned for this".

"We're working as hard as we can", Hodges says. "We're able", he said.

The rescues began around 4 p.m. Thursday, Craven County spokeswoman Amber Parker said.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. For those wishing to track Florence's devastation from miles away, PBS NewsHour has compiled this guide of sources that we will be closely monitoring as the storm progresses.

Rain, wind and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence swamped the Carolinas early on Friday as the massive storm crawled toward the coast, threatening millions of people with record rainfall and punishing surf.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 metres) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 metres) of rain, touching off severe flooding.

The impact is expected to be similar to that of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston area past year, Feltgen said.

FEMA's first priority after Florence passes will be getting infrastructure that's critical to communities' well-being up and running, Long said.

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