First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses

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"In addition to the ongoing, risky storm surge and flash flooding, will be a long-term river flood threat WELL INLAND as very heavy rainfall continues to fall in the coming days".

The top wind gusts were reported in Raleigh are at 39 miles per hour.

The effects of Hurricane Florence have already arrived on the East Coast of the USA, where massive floods have already begun and as much asthe National Hurricane Center forecasts 40 inches of rain and 11 feet of flooding from the storm surge. According to Fire Chief Glen Rogers, there are in fact only 12 people left on the beach to sit out the storm. He added that Hurricane Florence poses a challenge because it is expected to drift over hard-hit areas.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that Florence is "wreaking havoc" and he's concerned "whole communities" could be wiped away.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds. By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 36 trillion litres, enough to cover the North Carolina to a depth of about 25 cm.

But it's not only North Carolinians who live along the coast who are being impacted by severe flooding.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher.

"Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", City Hall said on Twitter.

"I hope we don't but that might be the only thing that would affect us", James said.

It will likely come on shore Friday near Wilmington, North Carolina.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life.

Storm surge, the rising mound of water that builds up and comes ashore during a hurricane, is often the deadliest and most destructive threat from the storms.

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