Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina

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

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Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

Roy Cooper, the Governor of North Carolina, said surviving the storm would be a test of "endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience". "People think we're taking animals that have been stranded from the storm".

Florence remains a Category 1 storm, and it's spinning hurricane-force winds up to 70 miles from its center. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path. Hurricanes feed off the heat in the warm surface of the ocean and typically lose power when they hit land. What's more, Florence's historic amount of rainfall may lead to flooding of pig manure lagoons, and the hurricane's winds and storm surge have the potential to damage nuclear reactors in the region, Live Science previously reported. "We were able to evacuate quite a few; some did not go", he said.

"From Wilmington to Charlotte, we'll experience between a 500-year and 1,000-year flood event", Trogdon warned in a late-morning briefing.

A man runs past a mandatory evacuation sign before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

The No. 1 mission right now, Cooper said, is to save lives.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries, but authorities said more than 100 people were rescued further north in New Bern, where the downtown area of the city of 30,000 people was under water.

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

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People walk on a local street as water from Neuse River starts flooding houses upon Hurricane Florence coming ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018. Shelters in the city were filling and some people were being bused inland to Raleigh, even though some residents there were told they might have to evacuate because of flooding.

There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

The Triangle still has a good possibility of seeing 50 miles per hour or higher winds.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 100 miles per hour (160 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

Hurricane Helene is moving north, where it's expected to become a tropical storm Thursday.

As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach scores of people besieged by rising waters along a river. Rainfall of up to 20 to 40 inches could fall over the next five days in some areas, forecasters say. Wilmington is expected to get battered before the storm drifts south.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). Thousands of soldiers from their National Guard forces have been mobilized. Move to safety if your home is at risk.

The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks. "Lots of water, lots of wind, lots of storm surge".

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