Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Hurricane Florence Likely To Make Landfall Today: 5 Facts

Hurricane Florence Likely To Make Landfall Today: 5 Facts

At least four people were killed.

Florence blew ashore early Friday in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour winds, buckling buildings, deluging entire communities and knocking out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses as it crawled inland and weakened into a still-lethal tropical storm.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville.

Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

Screaming winds bent trees and led to near-horizontal rain as Florence's leading edge whipped the Carolina coast to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide area underwater from both heavy downpours and rising seas. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

In the besieged North Carolina city of New Bern, rescuers by midmorning Friday had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The fourth person who died was a man in Lenoir County who was hooking up a generator, Gov. Roy Cooper's office said.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

The Category 1 hurricane, with wind of more than 90 mph and dumping 3 inches of rain an hour, made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

Watch more above, and stay with Fox News Channel for Hurricane Florence coverage. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background.

The weather warning read: "Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina.an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches".

Five dead as Hurricane Florence downgraded to tropical storm
Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of North and SC . Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

A tree uprooted by strong winds lies along a street in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday.

Florence was seen as a major test for FEMA, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths.

The city of 29,000 that's near the North Carolina coast is surrounded by two rivers on the east and south.

Flood waters surround a house as Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on Friday.

A weather station at a community college recorded a 100 miles per hour wind gust, and forecasters tweeted that a 91 miles per hour wind gust slammed into Wilmington's airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

Canceled more than 1,300 flights along the East Coast through Friday.

The powerful Atlantic storm began battering the Carolinas with rain, wind and floodwater.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

A friend later tweeted that the woman and her family had been rescued.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers".

Organizer Clyde Cain, told CNN the Cajun Navy was staged in New Bern and had received more than 500 calls for assistance.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs, and were left shaken.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

Hurricane Irma destroyed Kathy Griffin's house in Florida a year ago, and it could be days before she finds out whether Florence smashed her fifth-story condominium in Wrightsville Beach, where authorities said utilities could be out for days or weeks.

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