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Florence pummels Carolinas with heavy rain, winds; eyewall nears coast

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North Carolina coast was hit by Hurricane Florence

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence brings strong wind to North Carolina; Leland Vittert reports.

Hurricane Florence eyewall his way in the direction of North-Carolina, on Friday, as the Category 1 storm lashed the coast and seemed ready to cause a catastrophic flood.

State officials are bracing for the worst. A torn American flag flying on a live surf camera in Frying pan Tower North Carolina, is proof of the strong gusts of wind pounding the coast.

The authorities in the city of New Bern, N. C., were working with federal responders to rescue at least 150 residents who reported stranded in Florence storm surge.

“The hurricane-force wind” began hitting the state of the coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in a 2 a.m. EDT update.

“Do not relax, not be complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today, the threat becomes a reality.”

– Roy Cooper, governor of North Carolina

The storm is about 35 km east of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 45 km southwest of Morehead City (North Carolina), NHC ‘ s 3 pm EDT advisory said..

A sign at the Harbour View Inn in Chareston, South Carolina.

(AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Emerald Isle, N. C. recorded, 6.3 feet of storm surge “flooding”, according to the USGS. A 5.5 foot increase of water in the vicinity of Morehead City, N. C. was also included, the NWS reported.

Although Florence’s winds weakened as it drew closer to the land, dropping from a peak of 140 km / h earlier in the week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper kept his warning.

Hurricane #Florence was pounding the coast of North Carolina. Here is the 3 PM EDT Update. pic.twitter.com/FjGijTcUa9

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 14, 2018

“Do not relax, not be complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today, the threat becomes a reality,” Cooper said.

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from the city center, and tropical-storm-force winds of up to 195 km.

Waves slam the Oceana Pier & Pier House Restaurant in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina on Thursday as the Hurricane Florence approaches of the field.

(Theo the Long/The News & Observer via AP)

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, the update said.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina, later tonight, then move or in the vicinity of the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area by Friday,” the update said. “In slow-motion in parts of eastern and central South Carolina, the weather forecast Friday evening to Saturday evening.”

The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 cm, the update said. This is expected to lead to “catastrophic floods and long-term significant river flooding.”

North Carolina has 169,411 power failure in the whole country as of early Friday morning, officials said.

HURRICANE FLORENCE PATH: THE TRACK OF THE STORM HERE

Dunleavy’s Pub on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, wrote “open” on their boarded up windows.

(AP Photo/Mic Smith)

The hurricane agency said a mix of storm surge and the tides could lead to flooding from rising water levels. Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, North Carolina could see as much as 7 to 11 feet of water, according to the update.

Storm surge and hurricane warnings were in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to duck, North Carolina, as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds in North Carolina, the agency said.

“The worst of the storm is not here yet, but these are the first warnings of the days to come,” Cooper said. “To survive in this storm will be a test of endurance, cooperation, common sense and patience.”

Cooper additional federal disaster assistance in anticipation of what his office called “historic great harm” to the other side of the state.

As the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 people were at the reception.

Areas of Edisto Beach to South Santee River in South Carolina were under both a storm surge and hurricane watch, while the areas located to the north of Duck, North Carolina, the state of the border with Virginia were under a flood watch, according to the NHC.

AS HURRICANE FLORENCE APPROACHES, LIVE SURF CAM VIDEOS SHOW THE IMPACT ON THE CAROLINAS

Schools and businesses as far south as Georgia were closed, approximately 1,200 flights and counting were cancelled, and the coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied.

If you’re ready for Florence, you can read about the steps to prepare for the storm here and find emergency contacts here.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Zoe Szathmary and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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