NASA video shows Hurricane Florence from space as it makes landfall

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The city of New Bern, North Carolina, has promised that help is on the way for 150 people trapped by Hurricane Florence's inundation of the small town.

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.

One forecast from weather-tracking website Weathermodels.com predicts that over the next week, the Carolinas could see as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain. People were stuck in their cars, attics and rooftops, waiting for rescuers in boats. The department also encourages pet owners to make sure their animals are up to date on vaccinations and wearing identifying tags; bring a three-day supply of food, water, medicine and toys for pets; and have photos on hand in case pets get lost.

A friend later tweeted that the woman and her family had been rescued.

North Carolinians can compare those measurements with this flood risk map to gauge how their areas might be affected.

The storm's centre was about 180km east of Wilmington, North Carolina, at 2pm local time (18:00 GMT) but tropical storm-strength winds and heavy rains already were hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands.

The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore.

Rescue crews in Onslow County helped evacuate 70 people from a Jacksonville hotel early Friday after the roof collapsed and rain rushed in.

Hurricane Florence starts flooding parts of the Carolinas
She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". Where is Hurricane Florence now? Areas east and south of Charlotte are expected to receive higher totals from Florence.

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As of Friday morning, there were upwards of 20,000 people in 157 shelters across the state of North Carolina, and that number will only continue to climb as rescue efforts are now underway.

"I about jumped out of my skin", he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday morning.

As of 7:30 a.m. EST, 402,974 residents were experiencing power outages, according to the North Carolina Department of Safety.

The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire. North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were expected to be hit with the brunt of the Category 3 storm.

Others, though, chose to stay at home and perhaps regretted their decision.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher. Additional swiftwater rescue teams were on the way. So if you find yourself here, please get out.

Craven County spokeswoman Amber Parker said water in low-lying places filled the first and second floors of homes.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

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