Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

Jenny Jarvie , Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Chris Megerian

North Carolina began suffering the brunt of Hurricane Florence’s destructive power Friday morning as the storm made landfall along the coastline, sending ocean water surging over streets and into homes.

Rising waters have already tormented the town of New Bern, located where the Neuse River comes in from the Pamlico Sound about halfway down the coast. About 150 people were waiting to be rescued Friday morning, according to the city.

“You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU,” said the city’s official Twitter account overnight, promising that swift water rescue teams were mobilizing.

Dana Outlaw, the mayor of New Bern, said the storm had uprooted oak trees and scattered power lines on the street. “It’s no time to be out. We want our citizens safe.”

More flooding is expected further inland, where rivers could overflow and inundate towns across the state.

Fierce winds lashed at Wilmington, a port city near the southeastern corner of the state where many of the 120,000 residents had evacuated but some remain hunkered down to ride out the storm.

About a dozen people in the breakfast area of the Country Inn and Suites stared out the window as the wind howled and trees swayed.

The power went out at 6:45 a.m., and Alejandra Rubio, 40, clutched a paper cup full of coffee.

“I feel scared,” she said.

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