Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video

Geraldine Edwards
September 15, 2018

On Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, bringing extreme winds, surging seas, and huge amounts of rain to the coast.

Police confirmed the fatalities on Twitter, saying the father of the child was being transported to a local medical centre to be treated for his injuries.

The hurricane came ashore early Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds. It's the most powerful storm of 2018 so far.

Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington as a category 1 storm causing widespread damage and flooding along the Carolina coastline.

Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were inundated.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

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Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that Florence is "wreaking havoc" and he's concerned "whole communities" could be wiped away.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been forced to evacuate as Hurricane Florence battered the eastern coast of the U.S., including more than 3,000 prisoners who have been relocated from jails in the path of Florence.

Are you affected by Tropical Storm Florence?

A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

The storm was expected to head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. The highest numbers are being reported in New Hanover County. "The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".

Forecasters say "it can not 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".

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But forecasters say Florence's biggest threat, as with all hurricanes, lies in its water: a storm surge of up to 11 feet and rainfall that will trigger catastrophic flooding.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticised as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.

The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., around 7:15 a.m. ET Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. Officials in South Carolina's Craven County say conditions are much worse than some residents expected, with almost 500 people calling the local emergency services hotline asking for help.

More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands have moved to emergency shelters.

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