Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Pat Wise
September 16, 2018

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team that was using a phone app to locate people in distress.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm but flooding and heavy rain are still a danger to residents of the Carolinas, weather officials say.

US President Donald Trump has declared a disaster in North Carolina where a tropical storm has killed five amid warnings the worst is far from over.

By Friday night the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Ex-hurricane Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 80-kilometres-per-hour but it's projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and into the northeastern coast of SC in spots.

This story will be updated with additional information momentarily.

The Weather Channel on Friday defended a meteorologist who was captured bracing against the wind while two people appeared to stroll casually behind him during a report on Hurricane Florence.

A speed boat sits wedged in bushes in the parking lot of a waterfront hotel in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

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Many social media users picking up on the two people in the background and mocked the reporter for exaggerating the wind gusts of Hurricane Florence.

In all, hundreds of people have been rescued in New Bern, according to Gov. Roy Cooper.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Gov Cooper said.

View of Florence in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police.

Doll said residents near the Cape Fear River should expect major floods by Monday. In Wilmington, high winds blew transformers, plunging the city into darkness.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion litres), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimetres). She was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.

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