There was just one problem: While Seidel looked as if he needed to guard against the wind and the rain, two people walked behind him as though nothing was wrong and ruined the appearance of dire conditions. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain while another man died when he was knocked down by high winds while checking on his dogs.
"Because of the rising waters, we're going to take you to the coverage of our sister station in Myrtle Beach", Cox said, before walking off the set, leaving an empty frame as the weather graphic continued to pulse silently.
Hurricane Florence blew ashore in the USA state of North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour (144 km/h) winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, felling trees, splintering buildings, trapping hundreds of people and swamping entire communities along the coast.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence came ashore near the town of Wrightsville Beach, almost 10 kilometers east of the city of Wilmington, and is now inland near Cape Fear packing sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour with higher gusts.
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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".
On the mainland in New Bern, the authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods, and that the downtown area was under water.
Numerous calls are from residents who are trapped in their homes, some of whom reported floodwater rising up to the second floor. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".
More than 634,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said. They ventured out in life jackets into the waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.
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Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.
"What happens is that we rescue some people and then we find out there are still more who need it", Outlaw said.
"It's going to be bad", said Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commissioners. It was expected to slowly move southwest into SC before turning north, forecasters said.
More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds collapsed part of the roof. Numerous evacuees had pets with them. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, already had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the US Geological Service said. Trump planned a visit to the region next week.
Oklahoma search and rescue helicopter team leaves for Hurricane Florence
Hurricane-force winds were blowing 80 miles from its centre, and tropical storm force winds reached up to 195 miles from the eye. As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph.
She said the shop, with an electric generator, was safer than their nearby home. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power, and that restoring it could take weeks. Although it weakened slightly Wednesday afternoon, forecasters do not expect Florence's strength to change much before it comes ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina border.