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Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina

The Category 1 hurricane, with winds of more than 90 mph, made landfall at 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach east of Wilmington.

 (CNN) -- Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina, but its crawling pace and overwhelming storm surges are setting up hours and hours of destruction and human suffering.

The Category 1 hurricane, with wind of more than 90 mph and dumping 3 inches of rain an hour, made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and South Carolina -- punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind.

In the besieged North Carolina town of New Bern, rescuers plucked more than 100 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait when conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest," said Peggy Perry, who along with three relatives, was trapped early Friday in her New Bern home. "We are stuck in the attic."

Officials urged residents there to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including rooftops.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

By Friday morning, Florence already had:

  • Sapped power to more than 500,000 customers in North and South Carolina.
  • Forced 26,000 people into more than 200 shelters across North Carolina.
  • Prompted the mobilization of 4,000 National Guard soldiers and 4,000 utility workers.
  • Canceled more than 1,100 flights along the East Coast on Friday and Saturday.​​​​​​​

(Photo by CNN Weather.)

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