(NBC News) Rescue operations began as daylight broke over the North Carolina coast Friday morning, while Hurricane Florence continued to pound the area with wind and rain.
The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m. as a Category 1 storm packing 90 mile per hour winds.
Florence is expected to dump several feet of rain on the Carolinas as she makes a slow push inland over the next few days.
"It's going to be a changing event, it's going to change to an inland flood event," warned FEMA Administrator Brock Long.
The storm surge has already put some communities underwater.
Dozens have already been rescued in New Bern.
"We made a couple calls for emergency, but we knew we were stuck out because it was our fault for staying," said one resident.
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