Florence makes landfall in US

Hurricane Florence closes in on devastating blow to US east coast

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's going to get worse", he said at a news conference in Raleigh.

Mr Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

Tropical storm-force winds extended 175 miles from Florence's center, and hurricane-force winds reached out 70 miles.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches (1m) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and SC.

Though Florence won't be making landfall until Friday, tropical-storm-force winds - 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 117 km/h) - will begin whipping through coastal regions as early as tomorrow, making it exceptionally unsafe to be outside, Graham said.

Atlantic Beach, located on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

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Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3ft of rain, touching off severe flooding.

More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville.

Helping with rescues there were members of the so-called Cajun Navy, a group of Louisiana-based volunteers who became famous during last year's Hurricane Harvey, locals said on Twitter.

Governor Cooper said the state would arrange a visit by Trump "at an appropriate time". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

A mother and an infant were killed when a tree fell onto their home in Wilmington. The governor said tens of thousands are without power and roads are beginning to flood along the coast.

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

"It's going to coming roaring up to the coast Thursday night and say 'I'm not sure I really want to do this and I'll just take a tour of the coast and decide where I want to go inland, '" said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private Weather Underground.

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The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added. Spokesman Howard Fowler said restoration could take "weeks instead of days", even though 20,000 workers, including crews from outside the area, were standing by.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 225km/h earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few kilometers east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence. Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes.Maysie Baumgardner, 7, and her family sheltered at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence filled the streets with floodwaters.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said. "I'm a little bit scared right now, but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".

Saturday's scheduled game between SC and Marshall has been canceled.

Elsewhere in the nation, the East Coast is preparing for Hurricane Florence, which will be a major storm.

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