Hurricane Florence path tracker: EYE of storm reaches shore and landfall is IMMINENT | World | News
The eye of Hurricane Florence has hit North Carolina, unleashing life-threatening storm surge and torrential rain.
Landfall is imminent and likely to be just south of Surf City. The eyewall is currently onshore between Wilmington and Surf City.
The barreling storm packs maximum gusts of 90 mph and is expected to bring severe floods.
An observing site at Cape Lookout has reported sustained winds of 68 mph and gusts of 90 mph, with water levels predicted to rise.
Kelsey McEwen, a Meteorologist at Your Morning, tweeted: “Landfall is imminent, likely just south of Surf City, NC. 5:15am ET.
“The eyewall is onshore between Wilmington and Surf City now!”
The National Hurricane Center said: “Eyewall of Florence beginning to reach the north Carolina coast.
“A NOAA observing site at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, recently reported a sustained wind of 68 mph (109 km/h) and a gust to 90 mph (145 km/h).
“The water levels in Pamlico Sound and Emerald Isle remain elevated. These waters are expected to rise as the tides come back in.
“A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently recorded 6.6 feet of inundation.”
Despite slightly weakening, the barreling category 2 storm is still expected to make a direct hit on North Carolina.
In a tweet, the NHC warned: “Do not focus on the wind speed category of #Hurricane #Florence! Life-threatening storm surge flooding, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are still expected.”
An hour ago it was reported that the storm is located around 30 miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 50 miles south-west of Morehead City.
The storm will hit as a category 2 hurricane but Florence has caused the evacuation of some 1.5 million people with millions more likely to see some impact from the howling winds.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that “disaster is at the doorstep” and pleaded with residents and tourists alike not to underestimate Florence’s threat to life.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Mr Cooper said: “My message is clear: disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in. This may be a marathon, not a sprint.
“For those not under an evacuation order, finish your preparations today if you haven’t already. Move to safety if your home is at risk. Bring supplies if it’s not. Plan to be without power for days.”
30-foot waves were recorded off North Carolina’s coast early this morning, with forecasters warning that conditions are set to deteriorate as the hurricane makes landfall.
Over 3,000 offenders were evacuated from North Carolina prisons, along with four county jails, resulting in 300 offenders being housed temporarily in state facilities.
The American flag was also torn to shreds as the impact of Florence was seen from a live footage at the Frying Pan, a decommissioned lighthouse, 34 miles offshore from Cape Fear.