Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Erika Navarro 3D weather

Florence was expected to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday, and forecasters said its size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

On Thursday evening, the Neuse River burst its banks which caused rapid flooding in New Bern, North Carolina, forcing residents to flee as the entire city lost power.

Storm surges as high as 7 to 11 feet remain threats from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout in North Carolina, with life-threatening surges up to 6 feet possible across a much wider area.

Others were at home hoping for the best.

He confirmed that due to rising waters, some people are waiting for rescue in their attics and on their roofs.

Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of North and SC.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina.

"There's going to be really nowhere for anybody to go", said Chief House with Wrightsville Beach Police.

"If this thing comes inland and stops in eastern North Carolina like they forecast it, and we get two days of continuous rain, the rain will be our biggest damage", he said.

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.

Prior to Hurricane Florence's landfall, more than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate the coast.

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.

By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters.

The US National Hurricane Center described how winds of up to 90 miles (150 kilometers) per hour were pummeling the state of North Carolina.

Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 315km. Seventy people had to be pulled from a collapsing hotel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.

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.

President Donald Trump is preparing to travel to areas affected by the storm next week.

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