Hurricane Florence: Life-threatening storm lands in North Carolina

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The father was also home, and he was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Rescue workers in North Carolina meanwhile were scrambling to save people stranded in their homes.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

Some areas of SC could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power September 14 morning according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

At a hotel in Jacksonville, N.C. - about 60 miles northwest of Wilmington - about 70 occupants, including an infant and other children, were evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn after hurricane-force winds collapsed portions of the hotel's roof.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter.

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.

Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers - and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.

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Forecasters say it is now moving into eastern SC, crawling along at just 3mph (4.8km/h).

In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a heart attack and died because hurricane debris blocking roads prevented paramedics from reaching her.

The North Carolina State Emergency Response Team released a statement Saturday night indicating a, 81-year-old man died in Wayne County after falling and hitting his head as he packed to evacuate on Friday.

"This is an uninvited brute that just won't leave", he told NBC.

The centre of the hurricane made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina, at 7.15am local time.

Potentially heavy rainfall was expected in Charleston as Florence creeps inland.

The storm is expected to track across SC over the weekend.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

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The National Hurricane Center said there was more than 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation in New Bern.

Wilmington's airport recorded a 92mph wind gust on Friday morning, the fastest measured since Hurricane Donna hit the city in 1960.

The wind in Wilmington gusted to 105 miles per hour, the strongest since Hurricane Helene on September 27, 1958, the Weather Service said.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. 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.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Gov. Cooper told Morning Edition that he expects flooding could get worse as more rain falls and that the state's No. 1 mission right now is "working very hard to save lives".

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 am Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

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