Hurricane Florence tracker: Map of North Carolina - where did Florence make landfall?

Hurricane Florence tracker: Map of North Carolina - where did Florence make landfall?

The hurricane came ashore early Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast. Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls westward across the Carolinas all weekend.

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

"I've been through hurricanes before", he says.

"Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other risky conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 25 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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The wave action and strong winds of Florence will cause a large amount of water to pile up along the coast of North and SC . Due to the expansive nature of Hurricane Florence , Red Cross volunteers are stretched thin across the state, Shumake said.

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There have been no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries, but officials said more than 100 people were rescued in New Bern, as the downtown area of the city was under water.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Durham Herald-Sun around 5am that about 200 people had been rescued so far. Roberts said numerous residents live near the Neuse and Trent rivers. "Our greatest concern about this storm remains the same - storm surge and massive flooding", he said. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it".

Little change in strength was expected before Florence moves inland, according to the NHC.

The hurricane has caused more than 555,000 power outages in North Carolina, with almost 65,000 reported in SC, according to website poweroutage.us.

Life-threatening storm surge is being reported along the coast of the Carolinas.

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. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles (135 kilometers) north of Wilmington. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters, and others could only hold out hope someone would come for them. The road closed Thursday afternoon when it flooded 15 hours before Florence was expected to make landfall. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

For more on Hurricane Florence, visit the FOX 46 Resource Center.

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