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Hurricane Florence makes landfall as flooding from surge and rain remains extremely dangerous

Southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina should expect an additional 20 to 25 inches of rain from the lingering storm, with some areas receiving as much as 40 inches. 

This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

Just because the winds of Florence are slowing and the eye of the storm has moved ashore, does not mean the worst is over. Those in the area are urged to remain in sheltered positions, and no one should be thinking of returning to the area at this time.

Some areas have already experienced surge levels above 10’, which could be worsened by high tide which arrives just before noon. Particularly hard hit areas have been those on the west side of the Pamlico Sound. In the town of New Bern, CNN reports that rescuers have already saved over 100 people from the rising surge, but 150 more remain trapped in attics and on rooftops. With rain still pounding and surge levels remaining high, it’s unsafe for even the rescue teams to attempt to reach many of these locations.

Surge levels above 10’ have also been experienced in Morehead City, North Carolina, and in other areas along the coast north of the storm’s point of impact. The red areas in the map below are those areas where the surge has, or is expected to, top 9 feet. Greenville, North Carolina, though over 50 miles from the point of the storm’s impact, has still seen dangerously high levels of storm surge.

Over 400,000 are currently without power in the region, a number that could increase due to flooding. Portions of a hotel collapsed in Jacksonville requiring the rescue of 60 people, some of whom had gone there to shelter from homes closer to the coast. 

Live broadcasts of flooding from New Bern have been more limited on Friday morning after flooding forced the evacuation of the local television station. 

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