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The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, N.C.
The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 mph, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.
Forecasters say “it cannot be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland.”
Some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast early Friday.
The city of Jacksonville, N.C. issued a statement saying about 70 people were rescued overnight from a hotel whose structural integrity was being threatened by Hurricane Florence.
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. They have been moved to the city’s public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.