More Than 100 Await Rescue In New Bern, N.C.

Hurricane Florence Drowned a Riverfront 30 Miles from the North Carolina Coast

Hurricane Florence Drowned a Riverfront 30 Miles from the North Carolina Coast

The father was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries. Investigators said the fire started as a result by a candle that was being used during a power outage.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding.

Terrifying video has captured Hurricane Florence's powerful winds shredding a gas station in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The extremely risky hurricane has already caused more than 500,000 power outages and more is expected in the coming days.

More than 60 people, including an infant, children and their pets, were rescued from a collapsing hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the height of the storm, according to WITN-TV.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", tweeted the city of New Bern. "Nothing you need to get a chain saw after yet", he said by phone.

More than 400,000 homes and businesses have lost power across North Carolina overnight, local media reported.

It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 350-mile-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days. It was crawling west-southwest at 3 miles per hour (6kph), lifting huge amounts of ocean moisture and dumping it far from the coast.

The heart of downtown historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, is almost empty as Hurricane Florence makes its slow trek across the Carolinas.

Satellite image taken on 14 September, 2018, shows Hurricane Florence hitting the USA east coast.

The hurricane was "wreaking havoc" and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days", the governor said.

Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

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 storm is expected to track across SC over the weekend.

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

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's getting worse", Cooper said, calling Florence a "thousand-year rain event".

Boats pushed away from the dock are seen on a street during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said.

Authorities in New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people that dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater. More than a dozen major rivers in the Carolinas and southern Virginia are forecast by the National Weather Service to reach flood stage, and some - including the Neuse, Pamlico, Lumber, Waccamaw, Northeast Cape Fear and the Pee Dee rivers - are expected to set all-time flood records.

"I stayed here. I'd been through so many hurricanes", said Balance, who added that six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the tides and river were receding.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.

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