Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

The outer bands of wind and rain caused by the storm were already lashing North Carolina on Thursday morning.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.

Federal officials are urging anyone who ignored orders to evacuate from Hurricane Florence to hunker down and stay put until the storm passes.

In the besieged North Carolina city of New Bern, rescuers by midmorning Friday had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", she told the newspaper.

Areas along the coast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 9 to 13 feet.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared past year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate before the streets became inundated.

He said during a reception for Congressional Medal of Honor recipients at the White House: 'We're getting tremendous accolades from politicians and the people but we are ready'.

Waves of 2 to 3 feet are predicted on the York River during the weekend, the weather service said.

Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

The full impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide. Near Wilmington alone, Duke Energy reported 67 percent of its customers - 86,000 - had lost power.

Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

The storm splintered buildings and trapping hundreds of people in high water as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located by NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft data and surface observations 50 miles southwest of Dominica. It's moving toward the coast at a speed of 12mph.

"We have prepared everything", he says, "to have enough food, water, batteries, radio, first-aid supplies, and everything we need to be safe". "Everybody laughs at the fact that this storm got downgraded. but I've never seen tree devastation this bad".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach, vulnerable on a North Carolina barrier island, agreed that those who refused to leave were now on their own.

"I'm anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said.

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