Full wrath of Hurricane Florence is felt as 85mph winds sweep across North Carolina sparking a ‘biblical’ storm surge of up to ELEVEN FEET and leaving 475,000 people without power

Friday, September 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7.15am – winds are now up to 85mph
More than 60 people were rescued from a collapsing hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, early on Friday
Rescue teams are working to free those trapped in New Bern after the nearby Neuse River burst its banks
The Neuse River near the city is recording more than 10 feet of inundation, the National Hurricane Center said
In Jacksonville, more than 60 people have been rescued from a hotel as the building’s structural integrity was threatened
Even before Florence hit land, life-threatening storm surge was reported along the coast of the Carolinas
Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph, Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday

14 September 2018

The eye of Hurricane Florence smashed into North Carolina on Friday morning with three inches of rain falling every hour and 85mph winds sparking an 11-foot storm surge.

The hurricane is now on its way inland at just 6mph an hour, maximizing the damage it is causing to coastal communities.

‘I see a biblical proportion flood event that’s going to occur,’ Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told ABC News. I see the beach communities being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature.’

Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7.15am. At least 12,000 people sought refuge in shelters in the state and 475,000 homes and businesses were reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached.

More than 60 people including children had to be pulled from a collapsing motel in Jacksonville at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were waiting to be rescued.

The hurricane knocked a basketball-sized hole in the wall of the Triangle Motor causing cinder blocks to crumble and the roof to fall down – while residents were still in their rooms. Fire crews had to force their way in and evacuate the guests to a shelter. None were hurt.

Rescue teams were also working to free around 150 people trapped in New Bern as city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts warned that the storm surge will increase further as Florence passes over the area. The nearby Neuse River is more than 10 feet high after bursting its banks on Thursday.

The city warned that people ‘may need to move up to the second story’ but told them to stay put as ‘we are coming to get you.’ Some 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

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