As Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Trump Tweets Support to First Responders

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Hurricane Florence began lashing the coast Thursday morning, sending pounding waves ashore and rising storm surge. "So, even if it was just a tropical storm and trees went down we'd have a hard time getting here".

"The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

"It started pouring down rain and again so I was like, 'We got to get out of here".

About150 people were awaiting rescue in New Bern, N.C. early Friday morning, and multiple news outlets report some 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel in Jacksonville, N.C. overnight after it sustained structural damage as the Category 1 hurricane made landfall.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

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More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

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

Residents at Trent Court Apartments wait out the weather as rising water gets closer to their doors in New Bern, North Carolina.

The Red Cross said it had to cancel many blood drives in the area due to Florence and is urging residents in non-impacted areas to give blood. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, already had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the US Geological Service said. It shows the depth of water in a Belhaven family's garage.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his visit would disrupt cleanup and rescue efforts. But the National Hurricane Center warned people of the hurricane's strong winds and its "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" in an update Thursday evening. "We are not going to make it, '" Cherry said.

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Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.

Florence had been downgraded to a Category One hurricane before landfall, and is forecast to significantly weaken as it moves across central South Carolina Saturday. Significant weakening was expected over the weekend.

"The time to leave is running out, there will come a time when it will be too late and the rescue teams will not be able to come because they will also have to take refuge", warned South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

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More news: Florence makes landfall in NC; downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane