Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least five dead in Carolinas

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There was just one problem: While Seidel looked as if he needed to guard against the wind and the rain, two people walked behind him as though nothing was wrong and ruined the appearance of dire conditions.

Winds bent trees towards the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

The town's public information officer Colleen Roberts told CNN that 150 more people were awaiting rescue, and that citizens were going out in their boats to help, despite swift currents. The National Hurricane Center says a sustained wind of 55 miles per hour (89 kph) and a gust to 68 miles per hour (109 kph) were reported in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Wind speeds are kicking up far from the coast in central SC as Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way along the coast.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

Before dawn on Friday, authorities had been forced to rescue more than 60 people in Wilmington, some who had ignored evacuation orders.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his visit would disrupt cleanup and rescue efforts.

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She said the shop, with an electric generator, was safer than their nearby home. He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees.

"It's insane", he said in a phone interview. "You can never predict what a hurricane is going to do but I'm just not going to run away from this".

Coastal streets flowed with ocean water, and more than 460,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity.

At this time, the outer eyewall of Florence was making landfall in the the area of Wilmington, N.C.as a Category 1 hurricane.

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. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend. With the storm churning 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many of whom have been advised to evacuate. Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes. "I'm a little bit scared right now, but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world. Super Typhoon Mangkhut was expected to hit an area in the Philippines on Saturday that would affect 5.2 million people.

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