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Florence makes landfall in US

Florence makes landfall in US

In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, Trump said the government "got A Pluses" for storm recovery in Texas and Florida and "did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico".

The storm's first casualties included a mother and her baby, who died when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina. The child's injured father was 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 victim was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator, according to the governor's office.

Authorities in the North Carolina city of New Bern said there were around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

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

Hurricane Florence is moving closer to the coast of North and SC, where it is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.

"While Florence has weakened below major hurricane intensity, the wind field of the hurricane continues to grow in size", the NHC said in its latest bulletin. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Numerous evacuees took their pets.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern SC today and Saturday.

Hurricane Florence is sweeping the Carolinas, with some models anticipating more than 50 inches of rain and 80 miles per hour winds in certain areas.

Twenty inches were reported by early Friday afternoon in the town of Oriental.

And while the intensity of Florence's winds - still in the 90 miles per hour range - have diminished enough to turn it into a Category 1, the storm has grown in size as it crawls off the coast at a plodding 6 miles per hour.

As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, while many of their neighbors awaited help.

"We are coming to get you", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods.

Governor Cooper said the state would arrange a visit by Trump "at an appropriate time".

Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington.

"It's insane", he said in a phone interview.

"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said.

"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

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