Weather Channel Defends Reporter As He Allegedly Exaggerates Report On Hurricane Florence

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Jacob Fernandez (left) and Josh Fernandez play around on the tree that fell near their home as Hurricane Florence passed through the area on Friday in Bolivia, N.C.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm. "These were waves crashing down".

At 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 55 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Ex-hurricane Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 80-kilometres-per-hour but it's projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

None of the people rescued were injured.

The center of the storm is hovering over eastern SC, after making landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday. Six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the water was dropping by then.

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard walks down Mill Creek Road checking houses after tropical storm Florence hit Newport North Carolina, on Saturday, September 15, 2018.

Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could also be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had around 7 inches.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.

Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.

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

As for the landslides, Gov. Henry McMaster did warn about possible landslides in the state, but he was referring to northwestern portions of the state, not the Grand Strand.

The western Pacific has two-and-a-half times more storms that reach the minimum hurricane strength of 74 miles per hour. At least five deaths are connected to the storm. A group of deer were spotted swimming behind a CBS news correspondent Adriana Diaz's right shoulder while she was covering flooding in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.

The effects of Florence won't be fading anytime soon, either, as current forecasts have upwards of 15-to-20 additional inches of rain possible for areas of North and SC will Florence's remnants will linger for the next 48 to 72 hours.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.

That last hurricane is pretty significant.

In Kinston, a city southeast of Raleigh, two people died in the storm.

Two fins were spotted in the high water in Wilmington.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles". And even if their homes survived intact, hundreds of thousands of utility customers who lack power have limited food options.

"This is our only home".

"To make this work, we have to build dams to hold the floodwaters back off the road and keep the road operational", Hall said Saturday.