Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence

Katie Ramirez
September 16, 2018

Mangkhut made landfall Friday on the northeastern tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines with top-of-the-scale Category 5 winds of 165 miles per hour (265 kph).

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at almost 170km/h, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.

Mr Cooper said: "North Carolina Emergency Management experts have been sharing flood mapping with local officials".

While the Outer Banks made it past Florence fairly unscathed, scientists say they remain incredibly vulnerable to future storms and climate change.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding. "We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns", he added. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14.

Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet (3 meters).

North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.

The National Hurricane Center says in its 5 a.m. update Sunday that excessive amounts of rain are still being dumped in North Carolina and the effect is expected to be "catastrophic". "As rivers keep rising and rain keeps falling, the flooding will spread".

Scores of residents had to be rescued from flooding by emergency responders and volunteers in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.

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"Amazing. They did awesome", said Knox, who was stranded with seven others, including a boy who was carried out in a life vest.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters, and boats.

"We have 4,200 damaged homes", he said, urging residents to not wade out into the streets because of the dangers posed by downed power lines.

A preliminary damage assessment showed about a half-million dollars of damage in Dare County, Hester said, a figure she called "quite fortunate".

Florence already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds, and the threats are days from ending as remnants from what was a major hurricane swirl over the Carolinas. Wilmington International Airport and Fort Macon suffered gusts of 105 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 225 km/h earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few kilometres east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

"You evacuate from water", Cline said.

"For overall damage it will be hard at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. "We're trying to educate and protect Floridians so they don't fall victim to Irma for a second time".

"If we are ever going to have a Category 6 (a speculated-on level that's above current measurement tools), the Western Pacific is where it's going to be", said meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

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