Hurricane Florence Rocks Wooden Pier in Nags Head

Hurricane Florence Could Kill 'A Lot Of People' As It Batters US Coast

Hurricane Florence Could Kill 'A Lot Of People' As It Batters US Coast

The National Hurricane Center says Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and hurricane force winds.

Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries.

Local authorities reported another death, in Pender County, when downed trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition.

"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.

The powerful Category 1 storm is making its way south along the Carolina coast hours after making technical landfall early Friday morning.

New Bern, the city on the North Carolina coast where the Neuse River and Trent River intersect, was reeling Friday after being inundated from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. New Bern is about 32 miles north of Morehead City, North Carolina, and 101 miles southeast of Raleigh.

Residents can be seen wading through deep floodwater in New Bern as they attempt to retrieve their belongings.

The hurricane was "wreaking havoc" and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days", the governor said.

Food Lion, Bi-Lo, Aldi, Lidl, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Walmart and Publix were among the chains announcing temporary store closures in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia as Florence passes through the region.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", he said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that as the hurricane hit the coast overnight, officers "responded to 108 calls for service and 30 collisions".

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher. "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said.

Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon.

Hurricane Florence remains a significant storm surge and flash flood event, according to the latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.

The hurricane center predicts as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina.

"We're out of power so we spent the first few hours of the day playing board games with candles", he said.

Forecasters say catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over parts of North Carolina and SC ahead.

Roy Cooper, governor for North Carolina, said: "The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's going to get worse".

A fallen tree lies atop the crushed roof of a fast food restaurant after the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

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