"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US

Hurricane Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching. He compares Hurricane Florence with Hurricane Isabel, which hit the Virginia and North Carolina area at a similar strength in 2003, leaving about a million people without power and Hatteras Island battered.

Duke Energy, a local power company, estimated that up to three million customers could lose their supply as a result of Florence.

The storm has sustained wind speeds of 90 miles per hour, and a total of 40 inches of rain could fall over the next few days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said.

Despite a mandatory evacuation ordered Tuesday, emergency officials in New Bern reported that about 150 people were waiting to be rescued, and two Federal Emergency Management Agency teams were in the area, the News & Observer of Raleigh, NC, reported.

Forecasters predict as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina and storm surges as high as 4 meters - taller than many houses.

In a new demonstration of the network's CGI capabilities, hosts have presented from the centre of a digital storm surge to demonstrate the hurricane's damaging potential.

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7.15am Eastern US time near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina. "This is a very risky storm".

Early on Friday morning, New Bern officials said they were coming to rescue 150 stranded people.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Sandie Orsa, of Wilmington, who fears splintering trees will destroy her home.

It is the storm's movement and not its strength that has forecasters and officials anxious.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo.

Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.

The Canadian government has warned citizens against travel to the stretch of the U.S. East Coast that is expected to be hammered by Florence.

Perched on the porch of his home, carpenter Tony Albright was calmly awaiting Florence's arrival, beer in hand. "I charged the batteries of my electronic devices, I have beers and video games".

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