Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

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

Five deaths in North Carolina have been linked to Hurricane Florence Friday, including a mother and baby who died in Wilmington. The father was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries.

United States media said a fifth death may have occurred when a man tried to connect two extension cords in the rain.

These types of slow-moving storms - like Hurricane Harvey - can be particularly unsafe because of the rain and flooding they can bring.

Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. Cooper cited a National Weather Service forecast that said almost the entire state could be covered in several feet of water. "My wife's in a panic right now".

Hurricane Florence has caused some damage to Wilmington International Airport, said Gary Broughton, the airport's deputy director.

Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning near Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, causing huge storm surges, heavy winds, strong winds, and intense flooding.

In southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC up to 40 inches of rain could fall, producing "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", said the NHC.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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Winds here are still expected to reach a maximum sustained speed of 60 to 70 miles per hour, with peaks reaching in the upper 80s in some Grand Strand regions.

According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimates up to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.

He picked up 10 people on one run and took them to a shelter.

Early on Friday, South Carolina emergency officials said there was still time, "but not a lot of time" for people to leave flood-prone areas. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN.

In New Bern, Sarah Risty-Davis is one of the residents who opted not to follow a mandatory evacuation order that was issued three days ago. They ventured out in life jackets into waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.

"We won't be out of danger", he said. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

Donald Trump was to visit hurricane-hit zones "early to the middle of next week", the White House said, "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts".

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered. The storm, which made landfall Friday morning as a Category 1, is expected to continue to soak the area throughout the weekend.

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