People along North Carolina coast share Snapchats of Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence's onslaught threatens disaster in North Carolina

‘Catastrophic’ flooding expected by NHC; Hurricane Florence eyewall now reaching North Carolina coast

This rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding. It was crawling west at 5 miles per hour.

Florence is expected to go move slowly as it approaches North and SC, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". "But I think we're ready".

Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 193-kmh winds on Thursday.

Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday evening at 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 miles per hour (224 km/h) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm.

Up to 40 inches could drench the worst affected areas, the NHC said.

After the slow-moving storm officially made landfall, it continued dumping heavy rain over parts of North Carolina. "It came in slowly but then it just steady, just kept rising", Annazette Riley-Cromartie said.

Along the coast, floodwaters have been hitting inland towns near rivers that normally discharge into the ocean.

The National Hurricane Center said that freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence inches closer to the US East Coast. As Cooper said, "There's nowhere for the water to go".

About 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did, officials said.

Ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the North Carolina-South Carolina coast would last for hours and hours because the hurricane had come nearly to a dead stop at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Governor Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Hurricane Florence was pounding the Carolinas as it made landfall off the U.S. East Coast Friday morning.

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After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighborhood and making sure my neighbors are fine, because nobody can get in here".

There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says.

"We are not turning away that help", she said.

Flock said the back end of the storm, when it does arrive, is not expected to be as strong, so the area could avoid catastrophic wind damage and storm surges. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

A gust of 105 miles per hour (169 kph) was recorded at the Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

FBN's Jeff Flock with the latest on Hurricane Florence. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death Friday morning, emergency officials said.

It's now pummeling the coast of North Carolina with 90mph winds and heavy rain, the CNN reported Friday.

Forecasters say "it can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland". Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. Thousands of soldiers from their National Guard forces have been mobilized.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management. Floodwaters submerged US Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river.

Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in Emerald Isle, N.C., September 13, 2018.

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