WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 mph, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.
The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.
Forecasters say “it cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland.”
A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence. The city of Jacksonville’s statement says people have been moved to the city’s public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter. None of the people rescued were injured.
Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.
In New Bern, N.C., about 150 people are waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters.
WXII-TV reports the city of New Bern said Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued there.
The National Hurricane Center says the Neuse River near the city is recording more than 10 feet (3.05 meters) of inundation. Roberts says the storm surge continues to increase as Florence passes over the area.
The city warns that people “may need to move up to the second story” but tells them to stay put as “we are coming to get you.”
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