Four killed as Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas

Four killed as Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster. Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water. Authorities have advised people, however, to move to higher levels in their homes while they wait to be rescued.

We wrote up the story, laughed about it, and moved on.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived to the US East Coast, where the National Hurricane Center forecasts as much as 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from storm surge in some places.

Despite the drop in wind strength, the most unsafe threat comes from Florence's rains and storm surge, which could bring flooding far inland.

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"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Roberts said rescuers were facing very challenging conditions, but assured residents help was on the way.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Helene is expected to then weaken and poses no threat to the United States, as of the center's 8 a.m. advisory.

FBN's Gerri Willis on the businesses that have closed down operations in North Carolina and SC due to Hurricane Florence.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

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More than 60 people, including many children and pets, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse, local officials said. "I should stay in my house, where I have water and food".

The father sustained injuries and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for medical care.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

"Don't relax. Don't get complacent", he'd said Thursday morning.

Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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Rising tides moved closer to the dunes in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Thursday as Hurricane Florence approached the east coast. At 4am BST Wednesday the "monster" storm was centred 670 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, moving at 17 mph.

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