Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

Hurricane Florence Could Kill 'A Lot Of People' As It Batters US Coast

Hurricane Florence Could Kill 'A Lot Of People' As It Batters US Coast

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

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told The Associated Press more than 360 people had been rescued by mid-afternoon Friday (local time), but another 140 were still waiting for help.

New Bern's WCTI television employees fled their studio Thursday night due to rising flood waters.

Outlaw said at least 4,200 homes and 300 businesses in New Bern have sustained damage from flooding or trees.

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down. please do not let your guard down", said Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), earlier on Thursday.

Morehead City resident Rebecca Marson decided not to evacuate because her surgeon husband wanted to remain behind with other first responders.

While forecasters have been keeping a close eye on the storm from the ground, the International Space Station watched the slow-moving hurricane make landfall from above.

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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.

"And when the tide comes back up around noon, we will be inundated with additional storm surge", she said.

In a hurricane, as Live Science has reported, the most significant threat is flooding, not the high winds.

Operations at the ports of Wilmington, Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk in Virginia, which together handled 23 per cent of East Coast imports in 2017, have been disrupted by the storm. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House. On the forecast track, the centre of the storm is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday. "We are stuck in the attic".

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

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