North Carolina TV station evacuates due to rising waters

According to CNN, the hurricane hit the east coast of the USA with 90-mph winds and relentless rain.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it is not clear how many left.

Cuthbert Langley, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross in South Carolina, told HuffPost that the organization has more than 1,500 disaster response volunteers spread across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached out 195 miles (315 kilometers). But the center is still warning of life-threatening storm surges, with as much as 11 feet of ocean water expected to cover the North Carolina coast at some seaside locations. The storm may gradually drift into northeast SC. The highest surge will coincide with high tide. As spotted by Earther's Brian Kahn, a visualization of the predicted storm surge by The Weather Channel really hammers home just how lethal Florence could be. He said he has not seen "a soul" in the area all day, with power and cell service knocked out. If it follows that track, the storm could hit Maryland from the south and west early next week - with the strongest impact in the western counties.

"North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia are all home to well-known military bases and installations, and the secretary of defense is given authority for life-saving and life-sustaining actions in order to make DoD capabilities immediately available, and local commanders are proactively positioning forces and equipment to be ready".

In Jacksonville, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the cinderblock structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. These are numbers that far exceed what fell on the same region during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

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Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland.

Flash flooding and river flooding is likely if not inevitable over the next several days as torrential rain falls on saturated ground. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters. As the water drains off mountains and hills through the weekend, rivers will swell beyond their banks and flood surrounding communities and farms.

"Growing confidence that Southeast SC will experience a [prolonged] period of tropical storm winds and heavy rain Friday - Saturday from #Florence". Tropical Force winds of 58 to 73 miles per hour are expected in the area.

Forecasters have said the rain from Florence will continue for two days, bringing severe flooding. In these areas, the ground has already been saturated by weeks of higher-than-normal rainfall.

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