Hang in there! Weather anchor dramatically braces against Hurricane Florence winds

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Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning near Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, causing huge storm surges, heavy winds, strong winds, and intense flooding. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

He said: "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

At 5 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (75 kilometers) west-southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 25 miles (45 kilometers) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

What the hurricane "has now lost in terms of maximum wind speeds near its centre, it has now gained in terms of sheer expansiveness", said Peter Mullinax, a meteorologist at Planalytics.

At 90 miles per hour, its wind speed was dipping but still unsafe.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.

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One resident, restaurant owner Tom Ballance, told the Associated Press he now thinks he should have evacuated.

The rising sea crept towards the two-storey home of Tom Copeland, who lives on a spit of land surrounded by water in Swansboro.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. "Nothing's hit the house yet, but it's still blowing".

By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters.

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

"We are still trying to rescue about 150 residents that did not evacuate, and we are now going in with water rescues to get these folks to a shelter", Outlaw said.

A state of emergency was declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 195km/h winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore.

The vivid presentation - powered by the Unreal Engine, most commonly used in video games - seems likely to serve as a more pressing demonstration of the storm's threat than a mere written warning, and that's vitally important for folks in impacted areas.

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