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Florida Emergency Responders Deploy To North Carolina

Florida Emergency Responders Deploy To North Carolina

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The center of Florence will move across extreme southeastern North Carolina Friday evening and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday night and Saturday, the NHC said.

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, 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. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way. But that will not lessen the threat from storm surge pushed by the storm, which could reach many miles inland up North Carolina's Neuse and Pamlico rivers, forecasters warned.

With flood waters rising rapidly in many communities, people trapped in homes awaited rescue, while tens of thousands hunkered down in shelters after fleeing their homes as the storm approached.

"This is a very unsafe hurricane", Mr McMaster said, adding that the evacuation order for coastal counties was "mandatory, not voluntary".

A shuttered coffee house is seen on the Myrtle Beach Board Walk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.

Carolina coast battening down, boarding up as hurricane nears
The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions. "It's a big one", he said at the White House.

The Virginia National Guard says 1,200 personnel are staged and ready to respond as Hurricane Florence approaches.

Late Wednesday, the storm had weakened slightly to a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kph) as it approaches the North and SC coasts.

It said it was located about 40 miles (65 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march. The town was under evacuation orders, but 150 people were trapped there by the storm as of Friday morning.

United States media say more than one million people have been ordered to evacuate.

Monster storm Hurricane Florence is barreling closer to the coast of the Carolinas.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington.

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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.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

South Carolina's most popular tourist destination is like a ghost town.

This is the third time SC has had to cancel a game due to weather in the last four years. That leaves the "spinning wheel" at the hurricane's core stranded, "and it'll just sit there until the weather pattern changes", he said.

Speaking at the White House, Trump said "protection of life is the absolute highest priority". Trump plans a visit to the region next week.

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

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