Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

A much-weakened Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina early Friday.

Florence, now a Category 1, remains a threat to that region – it’s still expected to bring damaging winds and rains.

It made landfall at 7:15 a.m. at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, as the center of its eye moved onshore, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters said “catastrophic” freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas. The storm’s maximum sustained winds held at about 90 mph (144 kph).

More than 100,000 of residents across the Cape Fear region are without power according to Duke Energy’s outage map Friday morning. The storm is now producing 90 mph winds sustained with strong gusts possible.

Hampton Roads dodged the bullet, but “tropical storm conditions” are forecast by the National Weather Service.

Some emergency shelters are still open in Hampton Roads and emergency crews remain on standby.

Area residents have been preparing, stocking up on essential items such as canned goods and water.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our sister publication, Port City Daily in Wilmington, North Carolina, is in the path of Hurricane Florence.  Our staff there is covering Florence and its impact to that community. Follow their live coverage here.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.