Hundreds rescued in North Carolina city as waters rose

Hundreds rescued in North Carolina city as waters rose

Hundreds rescued in North Carolina city as waters rose

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Hurricane Florence is pictured on the doppler radar on board a HC-130J Hercules as it flys through, out of Savanah Air National Guard Base, Savanah, Georgia, U.S. Airport, in this September 12, 2018 handout photo.

The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state.

Hurricane-force winds caused by Florence were getting closer to the North Carolina outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina, the NHC said, adding that life-threatening storm surge and rainfall was expected.

Long said people in storm-damaged areas need to "get their mindset right".

Port Canaveral along Florida's Space Coast had two ships visiting unexpectedly when Hurricane Florence made it impossible to stop in Bermuda.

Officials say people refusing to evacuate could end up alone, drenched and in the dark, as rescue crews won't go out to help in winds above 80 km/h.

Almost 300,000 customers in North Carolina were meanwhile reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached. Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated the coast, more than 1500 U.S. flights have been cancelled, factories were shut and farmers rushed to save crops, poultry and pigs in anticipation of the storm.

The Category 1 storm is now gusting at wind speeds of about 90 miles per hour with heavy rain and storm surges expected for the region.

Reports of collapsed roofs and other structures were already reported from North Carolina's Morehead City and New Bern areas, the Washington Post reported.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest", said Peggy Perry, who along with three relatives, was trapped early Friday in her New Bern home.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the USA electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm.

"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners.

A gauge in the city's Neuse River near the town of Oriental indicated the water was 4 feet over flood stage and more than 5 feet above normal levels.

"We've got to quickly understand the damage that's been done to the transportation systems, the communication systems, the power systems, and we are positioning, and have bene positioned for multiple days now, to get those critical lifelines back up and stable as quickly as we can", he said.

By early Saturday morning, Florence is expected to have weakened to a tropical storm, and by early Sunday, it will be a tropical depression.

Operations at the ports of Wilmington, Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk in Virginia, which together handled 23 per cent of East Coast imports in 2017, have been disrupted by the storm.

For farmers, the department recommends moving livestock to higher ground, stocking up on drinking water for animals ahead of a storm, ensuring animal holding pens are clean and boarding up windows to prevent them from breaking if objects are blown into them.

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