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NASA video shows Hurricane Florence from space as it makes landfall

14 September 2018

The rainy summer has already caused some flooding at the zoo, so Kottyan said it has already identified problem areas on the grounds and is taking measures to guard against additional flooding from the hurricane, such as blocking animal stall doors with hay bails.

As the giant, 400-mile-wide hurricane pounded away, it unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses. On the forecast track, the centre of the storm is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.

The coastal area of SC features hundreds of inlets while North Carolina has barrier islands miles away from the mainland.

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., September 14, 2018.

Hurricane Florence has already proven to be not just powerful and destructive but wildly unpredictable. By 9:30 a.m., more than 500,000 customers were without power across North Carolina, and the Triangle had begun to experience outages.

The slow forward motion means Florence will batter the area with heavy rainfall, producing up to 40 inches in coastal North Carolina and northeastern SC.

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"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said.

"We know where the water's going now so we can kind of better prepare those buildings and exhibits", she said.

"From Wilmington to Charlotte, we'll experience between a 500-year and 1,000-year flood event", Trogdon warned in a late-morning briefing.

At least 150,000 people were without power in North Carolina early on Friday with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to utility companies.

Cheryl Browning, who lives with her husband and son in North Carolina, said they chose to stay put despite the warnings as they also have three dogs and three parrots.

Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded his street during Hurricane Florence in New Bern, N.C., Thursday.

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Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall on the US East Coast on Friday, knocking out power to almost half a million homes and causing buildings to crumble.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared".

And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

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

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NASA video shows Hurricane Florence from space as it makes landfall