Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least five dead in Carolinas

Hurricane Florence churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west north-westerly direction towards the US East Coast

Al Brookins poses with his shirt that lists some of the previoius hurricanes he has lived through before the arrival of Hurricane Florence September 12, 2018 in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. Although it weakened slightly Wednesday afternoon, forecasters do not expect Florence's strength to change much before it comes ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina border.

A "storm surge watch" is issued when flooding is possible, while a "warning" is issued when flooding is expected.

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore last night Singapore time near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150kmh, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

"I'm lucky to be here today, but wherever they're going to send me I'm going".

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

Forecasters said wind speeds have dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 110 miles per hour (175 kph), reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.

The new trajectory means the storm will idle at sea for longer, creating even heavier and prolonged rains and storm surges for the Carolinas and possibly northern parts of Georgia.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Jeff Byard said in Washington.

As of 11 p.m. EDT Wednesday, the storm was centered 260 miles (455 kilometers) east southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 17 mph (28 kph). Cooper cited a National Weather Service forecast that said almost the entire state could be covered in several feet of water.

After appearing headed toward the North Carolina-Virginia border at one point, Florence shifted south and is now taking aim at the Carolinas.

Authorities in the North Carolina city of New Bern said there were around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters.

In Wilmington, Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said. "The building's solid and Buddha will protect us". "I've never seen tree devastation this bad". "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

On Sept. 14, NHC posted the following warnings and watches: A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

Some residents ignored calls to evacuate. His remarks fell flat in Puerto Rico where islanders are continuing to struggle to recover a year after the Category 4 storm.

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