Beaufort, Jasper ordered to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence
Carolinas' crisis escalates as Florence shows its fiercest face
Florence: North Carolina's rivers still rising after record rain
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Hurricane Florence's onslaught threatens disaster in North Carolina
14 September 2018, 09:18 | Justin Tyler
"Of course, I live in New Bern, I'm a property owner here, I have friends that live here and have property here, work here, and it's devastating to see our handsome community and parts of it underwater, and to even worry about my own home".
More than 80,000 people in North Carolina already were without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.
"The center of the storm was about 145 miles (230 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina".
Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.
The National Weather Center predicts another 20 to 25 inches of rain for the areas surrounding the Carolinas' border, with 30 to 40 inches in some places. Authorities have advised people, however, to move to higher levels in their homes while they wait to be rescued. The county has five swift water rescue teams out to answer calls for help, alongside citizen volunteers with the Louisiana Cajun Navy.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m. "We've had it reported to where it's over mailboxes, to the stairs of homes, even at first, second floors to where people are having to get on their roofs".
Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected.
About midday on Thursday (local time), Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.
"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.
In Sea Breeze, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptised because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" after the storm, she told Reuters news agency. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.
Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 225 kph earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying category four to a two.
After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.
Florence's fiercest winds will linger around the coast for hours since the storm was moving forward at only 6 mph (9 km/h).
"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said.
"It looks heavy outside", she said.
The bulk of the three media briefings held by police chief Dan House surrounded how they were still anticipating the serious and catastrophic storm surge as well as hurricane force winds.
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