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Storm chaser records Florence battering Carolina coast

Storm chaser records Florence battering Carolina coast

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge whipped the Carolina coast Thursday to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power on Friday morning, according to which tracks the nation's electrical grid. They're riding out the storm at their home with four children - ages 11 to 17 - Marson's friend, four dogs, two chinchillas, a cat and a lizard.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition.

Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression, environmental conditions tore the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm later. Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet, he said. The governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

Hurricane Florence rolled ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, trapping hundreds of people in high water as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

The eye of Florence, a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph sustained winds, was 25 miles east of Wilmington at 5 a.m. Friday, according to a briefing issued by the National Hurricane Center.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. But Florence's forward movement had slowed to a crawl, and it piled on the rain in a siege that could go on all weekend long. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background. "As Florence moves inland, we'll see more rain and more flooding from our rivers".

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

This next video below, taken by Mark Cogdell, shows a gas station on Market Wilmington, North Carolina collapsing in Hurricane Florence's winds. Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, he calculated.

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The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina. Water was already rising in roads and buildings.

The storm is moving inland at a speed of 6 miles per hour and conditions are likely to deteriorate as it pushes its way southwest along the coast Friday through Saturday.

More than 2 feet of rain already had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on as Florence, a hurricane-turned-tropical storm, practically parked itself over the two states.

"The greatest storm surge inundation is expected between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers and western Pamlico Sound".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

"We're on our way, we will get you rescued", Outlaw said while cautioning that first responders have to be careful of their own safety. We probably will be getting heavy winds and rain for the next few days.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

Almost 200 people have already been rescued, according to Colleen Roberts, a city public information officer, Fox News reported.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

No one was injured, city officials said.