680k+ lose power in NC as Florence continues moving inland

680k+ lose power in NC as Florence continues moving inland
A shot from Wilmington, NC, as Florence made landfall Friday morning. (Source: Micah Smith)

NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - More than 681,000 people are without power in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence continues moving inland.

Florence made landfall near Wilmington, NC, Friday morning.

As of 4 a.m. Sunday morning, 681,446 people were without power across the state, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

The highest concentration is in New Hanover, Brunswick, Carteret, Cumberland and Onslow counties. Around 15,212 of those outages are in Mecklenburg County, according to Duke Energy.

The Charlotte area has experienced gusty winds and heavy rain, leaving trees toppled and power lines down in multiple areas.

Florence made landfall near the Wilmington coastline around 6 a.m. with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.

Trees and debris were flying through the streets of Wilmington with fierce winds and torrential rainfall.

The massive storm already brought storm surge and is only expected to bring catastrophic flooding.

Shelters are opening across the Carolinas for evacuees.

The Red Cross is readying to organize shelters across as many as 11 states.

“More than 5 million people from the coast are under evacuation orders, and we still don’t know what the impact will be, including inland,” said Angela A. Broome Powley, regional executive officer, Red Cross Greater Carolinas Region. “We stand ready to staff shelters as long as needed, whether for evacuees or if our neighbors are impacted and need to evacuate. “

The Carolinas continue preparing for anticipated catastrophic flooding, massive power outages, destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, torrential rainfall, and possible tornadoes.

Both North and South Carolina have declared a State of Emergency. Hurricane Warnings are also in effect for the entire NC coast and portions of the SC coastline. Millions of people are being evacuated inland, and many schools and businesses are closing ahead of the storm.

On Thursday, Flash Flood Watches were issued until 8 a.m. Tuesday for the following NC and SC counties in the WBTV viewing area: Alexander County, Avery County, Burke County, Cabarrus County, Caldwell County, Catawba County, Chester County, Chesterfield County, Cleveland County, Gaston County, Iredell County, Lancaster County, Lincoln County, McDowell County, Mecklenburg County, Rowan County, Union County, York County.

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