The eye of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall as a Category 1 storm in North Carolina on Friday at 7:15 a.m., is expected to stay in the area for another day as it pummels coastal cities in South Carolina.
A video shared on Twitter by National Geographic photographer Mike Theiss some 40 minutes after the storm made landfall gave viewers a look inside what Theiss described as “a calm eye.” It’s possible to see the edge of the eyewall, marked by two distinct shades of white and grey in the sky. According to NOAA, the eyewall is the ring around the eye where the highest winds occur.
Another clip from NBC News meteorologist Dylan Dreyer shows what it’s like on the ground in this particularly dangerous area. In her own words, she was surrounded by “wind gusts above 90mph, sheets of rain and the resulting flooding, trees toppling.”
So far, Hurricane Florence has hit the North Carolina town of New Bern the hardest. According to CNN, rescuers evacuated 200 people on Friday morning and some 150 more had to wait. The storm surge — or the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm — reached 10 feet.
“In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest,” Peggy Perry, a New Bern resident woman who was trapped in her home Friday morning, told CNN. “We are stuck in the attic.”
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Florence is expected to drop up to 40 inches of rain in some towns in North and South Carolina, according to Today. By mid-Friday morning, the hurricane had already taken power from more than 500,000 customers across the two states and led to the cancellation of more than 1,300 flights, CNN reported.
There also could be extremely destructive flash flooding in inland areas because the storm surge is preventing rivers from draining. “You’re going to have flooding miles and miles,” Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, told CNN Friday.
“I would say certain areas of New Bern are very desperate,” Craven County spokeswoman Amber Park told ABC News on Friday. “There are people that can be trapped in water, in vehicles, on roofs. That’s just the situation for anyone.”
She added: “They just have to wait until the weather conditions permit them to make it here safely.”