Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence

North Carolina TV station evacuates because of rising water

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

On Saturday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned of "epic" levels of rainfall.

Hitting North Carolina on Friday, Hurricane Florence has slowed right down in its path, meaning the Carolinas are facing the brunt of the storm conditions.

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 people on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions and even a decommissioned World War Two-era battleship, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

A video of a U.S. weather reporter channel made rounds on the social media, showing him apparently exaggerating the force of Hurricane Florence, but the same live coverage showed it was not actually the case.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

The first effects of the now Category 1 Hurricane Florence are already being felt in the Carolinas, where the storm is expected to make landfall later today, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Meanwhile, two men can be seen in the background strolling casually with no effort in the rain.

As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

By Friday evening, the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Protected: More than 20,000 people in shelters in North Carolina, 6,400 in SC and 400 in Virginia.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is fantastic and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday.

Photos and videos from around the region, and particularly North Carolina, showed the power that Florence contained as it came ashore, leading to rescues across the area. We got thrown into mailboxes.

"They definitely need to be prepared." he said. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.

It already had, in Beaufort County and its capital city, Washington, where 300 people were rescued from flooded homes. SC recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her auto hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

Duke Energy said late Friday that it anticipates 1 million to 3 million outages in the Carolinas, and that full power restoration could take weeks.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

And dolphins were spotted closer than usual to shore near in Wilmington, North Carolina. It continues to chug west, slowing down from 5 miles per hour to 2 miles per hour.

"You evacuate from water", Cline said.

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