Hurricane Florence Drowned a Riverfront 30 Miles from the North Carolina Coast

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Once a Category-4 hurricane with winds of 225kph, the hurricane was downgraded to Category 1 on Thursday night. Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers.

By mid-afternoon the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the centre was moving west at 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 metre).

A later tally estimated about 350 people in New Bern needed to be rescued from flooding on the Neuse River, and about 70 people in Jacksonville, North Carolina, had to be moved to safety from a hotel whose structural integrity was threatened by the hurricane.

The station's general manager, Matt Bowman, wrote in a statement that their reporting teams will continue providing their viewers with information as Hurricane Florence hits the Carolinas. Hurricane-force winds extend out for 80 miles and the tropical-storm-force winds reach 195 miles out from the center.

Cuthbert Langley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in South Carolina, told HuffPost that the organization has more than 1,500 disaster response volunteers spread across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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Officials said it will be at least a day if not longer before many residents will be allowed to return to their homes. Joseph Solomon, a police chief in the town of Lawrence, said there were so many fires "you can't even see the sky".

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centres in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest. Instead of following a hashtag, follow a variety of local news outlets and verified government agencies. "Of course, I live in New Bern, I'm a property owner here, I have friends that live here and have property here, work here, and it's devastating to see our attractive community and parts of it underwater, and to even worry about my own home".

Parts of the mid-Atlantic can also expect heavy rains from what is left of Florence well into next week.

The NHC predicted "catastrophic freshwater flooding" to hit "over portions of North and SC".

There is around 156,068 people that have lost power and police have suspended their services in Morehead City and other coastal cities, warning any residents who remain in the evacuation zone that they will be without emergency services until the storm passes.

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At 9 a.m., the center of Florence was wobbling about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, its winds down to 85 mph, according to the hurricane center. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles (135 kilometres) north of Wilmington.

Regarding the possibility of a storm surge, Jones said, "Everyone has to be on the lookout for that, however, the way our house sits, it's elevated".

The National Hurricane Center says the high winds - combined with rain-soaked soil - will cause many trees to fall in coming days, crashing into homes, streets and onto power lines.

"This is an absolute life-threatening scenario", Navarro said.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 144 km/h by nightfall.

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