US East Coast braces for Hurricane Florence

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For 62 years, Robert Faircloth has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina. The child's father was injured and taken to a hospital.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

A fourth person was killed while plugging in a generator in Lenoir County, north of Wilmington, WITN-TV reported.

The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that would see the system likely lingering for days.

Hurricane Florence smashed into the US East Coast on Friday with howling winds, torrential rains and life-threatening storm surges as emergency crews scrambled to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters.

In addition, preparing for hurricane-force winds is different than for storm surge, he said.

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Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull dozens of people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. Numerous evacuees took their pets.

Maysie Baumgardner, 7, sheltered with her family at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence's floodwaters filled the streets.

"It looks heavy outside", she said. Some weakening could occur as Florence moves across cooler waters and draws upwelling on the shallow continental shelf, but that will not lessen the storm's danger, NHC forecasters said.

More than 16 inches of rain have fallen in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way, the hurricane center said.

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore last night Singapore time near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150kmh, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

"When the conditions in the area intensified suddenly, we made the call to have our news staff evacuate the area and team up with our sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach to continue covering the storm and providing our viewers with vital, potentially life-saving, information", General Manager Matt Bowman said in a statement posted to the station's website. "We're able", Trump said Wednesday outside the White House.

After making landfall this Friday (Sept. 14), the massive storm will now "wobble" southward and then head west, making a "big, grand tour" of the southeastern United States, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) meteorologist Kevin Scasny said in a statement released today (Sept. 12).

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