tv First Look MSNBC September 14, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT
they sent me searching for higher ground. and some who stayed behind are on their roof seeking rescue. >> we got some gotten an updatem the national hurricane center on the path and strength of florence. >> with a busy hour ahead, the latest on the storm to come. >> let's check in now with that 5:00 lcritical moment here with an update from the national weather service. >> the news is that the eye wall is now moving on shore. we're not far away from actual landfall. we're only 25 miles with the center now away from wilmington. winds are still at 90 miles per hour, movements to the west-northwest at about 6 miles an hour. it's walking pretty good now and that should get it onto the coastline as we go through the
next couple hours. as far as the radar, you can see where the center is right now. this is the western and northern eye wall now coming on shore here. we have a very heavy band up in cart carteret county. by far the worst damage that has occurred has been in craven county and carteret counties up to this point. here's the wilmington area, here's am i righting grove. you will be the first ones to go into the eye. we went get the first landfall call until it's halfway. the eye has to be halfway onto the coast. that could be one, two, maybe even three hours away now. here's the new forecast path from the hurricane center. as it goes over land, it begins to weaken.
it will be until saturday at 2:00 a.m., still a hurricane. it won't be until saturday morning that it will drop down to a tropical storm. then the winds aren't really going to be an issue at all. the winds will be less of a story as we go throughout the day today. then the focus will really be on the fresh water flooding and the amazing rainfall totals. the highest wind gusts in wilmington, 85 this monoinrning. power outages widespread in areas of the coast, as you'd expect, a little less further inland you go. we're still expecting the storm surge to be maybe a peak up to about 11 feet. we've already seen 10 feet overnight. the rainfall forecast is going to be really dramatic. up to this point, the storm surge was the worst in the sounds, as was expected. the next high tide around noon today, that's when the coastal areas here could see some of the
highest water and that's when we could get some of the structures inundated and the waves. isolated areas going up to 40 inches. the river flooding is going to go all through the weekend into the beginning of next week. the storm is behaving pretty much as predicted. the surge and the rainfall is right on schedule. >> it's desooeinceivedeceiving. bill, thank you. maria yaiana is in north carolina. what's the update on that pier, on damage that you've seen there on oak island? >> reporter: david, we don't know. the police department could not confirm if, in fact, those reports that i was seeing on
social media were true. i can tell you that that oak island pier already collapsed with hurricane matthew in 2016. that was a storm that sort of came and went. with florence, it's expected to linger and keep dumping inches and up to 40 inches of rain in this area. we don't really know what it could do to the structures here, because really that historic flooding that will start to inundate some of the buildings here and really cause the most damage. i'm standing about 150 yards from the intracoastal waterway, about a mile from the beach. this is the largest beach in the state of north carolina. it is very vulnerable to this monster storm. it is under mandatory evacuation, a barrier island, after all. the police department did confirm that all the bridges were closed so nobody gets in or out.
if you really didn't hunker down and get the provisions you needed to stay in your home for the next 12-24 hours, that is what really is worrying authorities here, especially because this is also a retirement community. they say that on a regular day they get three to four phone calls with people needing medical assistance. so once the sustained winds reach 40-45 miles per hour, they say they won't be able to really dispense those emergency services or respond to 911 calls. that is what worries them the most as florence is heading our way. >> where you are right now, give us a sense of the water, where the ocean is and where the other side, given it is a barrier island. we checked in with you earlier and it appears that the winds were swinging the branches behind you a little bit more. give us a sense of the conditions there now as well. >> reporter: it's not too terrible. it's certainly better than what many locals expected. i mean, you can sense some wind.
there's rain. these oak trees behind me, that is going to be particular dangerous because the whole island is surrounded with them. again, i'm 150 yard from the intracoastal waterway and about a mile from the beach. if the storm does pass us to the north, because it's looking like it's going to hit wilmington, 40 minutes north of here, it looks like the south facing beaches will be saved, but we really won't know until the storm passes us. those are the conditions here, much better than locals expected. power is still on, which is good news. but we don't really know what we're heading into in the next couple of hours as the storm makes its way. >> when you talked to some of the locals who decided to stay, why did they decide to wait this out? >> reporter: so many more people than expected decided to stay because as the storm was
downgraded from a 4 to a 3 to a 2 and now a 1, people start getting that false sense of security. i have to say the main reason here, people that have been here on this island for 35, 40 years, they went through floyd, they went through fran, they went through matthew and they think this is just any other storm. of course, it is the storm surge and the flooding that makes this storm particularly dangerous. the other thing is people are afraid of not being able to come back into their homes. i covered hurricane harvey last year in texas. we were there weeks after the storm hit and that is what people don't want to be facing here in north carolina with florence. >> we go back to craig melvin in wilmington, north carolina, where this is expected to hit sooner than we thought initially here. now we're seeing from this latest forecast from the national hurricane center that the wall of that storm is approaching. craig, something that cal told us just a little while ago is
that you can feel the bands of wind as they come across. he's in a car, in an suv. what's it like for you there standing outside as the band of the storm begin to make their way onto land? >> reporter: in just the last few minutes this tree behind me, we just saw a massive branch get snapped off this tree. this is a tree that's clearly been here for a very long time. so the winds have picked up considerably. the shingles from the hotel are also starting to come off the roof here as well. wind gustins now somewhere arou 65-70 miles per hour at last check. the winds have picked up. the rains have not stopped. we haven't seen much of an increase in the rains. if you're familiar with the geography of wilmington, this is a city wedged between the cape fear river on one side and the ocean on the other.
high tide is several hours from now, but high tide is likely when we will start to see a lot of the flooding that we've been talking about happen here around wilmington somewhere between 7 and 11 feet of storm surge expected. some 15,000 homes without power in wilmington here. you probably have better numbers than i do, but at last check i was told somewhere north of 100,000 homes in north carolina and south carolina already without power. we can tell you also along wrightsville beach, we spoke to a official there and it was a situation where they had turned off the power and water in anticipation of this storm to prevent additional problems. >> as people wake up this morning, you mentioned many still with power at this moment where you are around the wilmington area.
they're finding out this thing is a category 1. they went to bed last night thinking it was going to be much stronger. that is really doing a cat 1 a disservice, meaning people need to heed these warnings and not through this is going to be better than expected. again, we're just at the beginning of this. >> reporter: another major concern that a lot of folks don't realize when they go out and they think the storm's died down, you've got these wind gusts that come out of nowhere. you've got lots of debris flying around. then you've got standing water. you've got all kinds of stuff in that water as well. it's one of those things where, again, local officials telling people if you have decided to be one of the folks that decided to ride it out, stay inside until you get the all clear from those local officials.
>> craig, we've been talking to mariana down in oak island. that is a tourist destination. she says there are a lot of retirees there. contrast that with where you are. wilmington is a big city with a big university. unc wilmington is there. what was the evacuation effort like in a city that size? >> reporter: the evacuation started earlier this week. the mayor tells me that it went very well. wilmington is one of the fastest-growing cities not just in north carolina, in all of the southeast. new brunswick county where we are is one of the fastest growing counties in the carolinas. wrightsville beach is a barrier island. there are a number of these barrier islands that dot the coast of north carolina. a number of these islands have
become far more populated over the past five or ten years than they had been. so you've got this growing population here on the coast of north carolina. lots of people who have moved to this area for a variety of reasons, so you've got far more people here who are at risk. my friend and colleague joe fryer is covering this storm. whatever conditions like to in jacksonville? >> reporter: we are in jacksonville right now. what i can tell you basically is that even though we are about a 20-mile drive from the coast -- we're not right on the ocean. despite that, we're still seeing incredibly windy conditions, big gusts, lots of rain. and the wind keeps shifting. that is a huge issue here. we lost power at 9:00 last night. that's before the winds were
even close to this strong. so that should tell you just how big of a deal the power issue is going to be here. already 200,000 in north carolina without power. the estimates are that anywhere from 1-3 million people could lose power in this storm. we are on a river. that river could also experience some storm surge, on top of the fact that we're going to be seeing a lot of rain like this with the slow-moving system today and into the weekend. there's not many places for the water to go. you can drive about 90 minutes farther inland or go to a place like fayetteville which is nowhere near the coast. they're moving their things to higher ground because they remember hurricane matthew just two years ago. there was a lot of rain. there were areas of that city that were underwater long after the coastal areas had dried out.
the flooding is going to be the next concern. right now it's really a safety issue. when the power is out -- there is a restaurant behind me, but there are no street lights. it is not safe for anyone to be out driving around. >> reporter: joe, be safe. that is one advantage right now at least that we have in wilmington. we at least still have power. dylan dreyer not far from where i'm standing here. let's start with this notion that it's a cat 1 storm now and people who might be watching or listening thinking, oh, it's a cat 1, it's safer than it was justs a f s a few days ago. how silly is that notion? >> reporter: from a wind standpoint, it certainly is safer. it's a weaker storm. but we've been talking so much about the flooding and the storm
surge. after we get to high tide after 11:30 this morning, that could all change. the whole landscape in wilmington could change if the cape fear river does overflow its banks. one thing about the wind, even though it is a category 1 storm, we have sustained winds coming in around 70-90 miles an hour. if you look outside and a very strong tree is getting tossed in the wind and you're not worried about it, 70-90 miles an hour winds over an extended period of time will weaken parts of the tree. then you get a gust on top of that and that's enough to send a piece of debris flying. even if you look outside and it looks like everything is just sort of blowing in the wind, it's that constant pressure of the wind on different items that could easily eventually just pick up and blow around. i think that's a big concern when you also think about stop
signs and street signs. it's that constant pressure that could start to toss that debris around. when that gets picked up in even a 60 or 70 miles per hour wind, it's enough to cause significant damage. with the eye wall coming on shore right now, we are getting into some of those stronger winds. we might get into a little bit of a lull where the winds ease once you get into the eye of the storm, but don't forget the backside of the storm. the winds will pick up again at this same intensity and then you've got the wind on top of the chance of that storm surge as we go into that high tide after 11:30 this morning. >> reporter: you mentioned that debris. i want to show folks at home here. over the last two minutes, this is one of the shingles from the roof of this hotel that continues to swirl about. we've seen a number of the shingles come off the roof of this embassy suites. it's not even a year old yet. behind me here, this is a tree.
i see three branches. one of the branches snapped off here, just speaking to the power of the 70, 80 miles per hour winds here. we just lost dylan. i can tell you here just over the past few hours here in wilmington it was one of those situations where the winds were 40 or 50 miles per hour and within the past hour or so we've seen them north of 60 and they've stayed north of 60. yesterday we were over by the marina here in wilmington. dozens of boats, scores of boats that remained tethered to this dock -- i talked to a number of
people about why would you leave your in some cases million dollar boat, why would you leave it here if you knew that the storm was coming? and they all said the same thing. they didn't have time to get it to a place where it would have been safer. you've got a lot of boat owners who have their fingers crossed that their boats are going to be safe. some of these people live on these boats, their life's possessions are on these boats. you've got a lot of people who are keeping a very close eye on their precious boats. >> classic case of those are things that can be replaced. when it comes to life, not at all. craig melvin for us with great perspective from where you are in wilmington, north carolina, as we understand hurricane florence now, the eye wall of this storm, category 1 at this
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that eye will be crossing over shortly. you can see where the current point is for the national hurricane center. i'm sure we have some significant wind damage with that western eye wall. also continue to get battered with a ton of heavy rain. let's time it out over the next couple of hours. there's the eye coming on shore. this computer model takes us by noon today still lingering near the coast. by the time we get to midnight, maybe over the top of myrtle
beach, still bands of very heavy rain up toward wilmington and jacksonville. then during the day on saturday the storm has continuation of heavy rain. as the storm goes into south carolina, we still get these feeder bands coming off the ocean that will produce heavy rain. and sunday still heavy rain. we're talking three days in a row of heavy rainfall in the same area here of north carolina. as far as the rainfall forecast goes, this is one of our computer models. still adding it up, this goes through sunday evening, an additional 28 inches possible in the wilmington area. fayetteville 21. this isn't just going to be a coastal problem. it's going to move inland along with the storm. >> the crucial problem here within the next few hours is not just this making landfall and
crossing over, but also the high tide that's expected around 11-ish eastern time. >> if we're going to get the storm surge of 7 to 11 feet, it will occur here. that's the area of greatest concern. again, 10:00 a.m. to noon is when we could possibly see the highest water levels and the most destruction from the surge. >> bill karins, we'll check back with you a little bit later on. >> cal perry is driving around north carolina. they expect 28 inches of rain in wilmington, north carolina. the cape fear river there on the west, the atlantic ocean on the east. how does the weather vary as we get from one to the other?
>> reporter: it totally varies by geography. as you follow that river to the north, you get to a more rural area north of the airport. then along the coast, moving from topsail beach, the further north that you get the worse it is because the storm is just stalled in wilmington. downtown wilmington is starting to see increased winds just varying above that hurricane force. the other thing we're going to be looking at is as this storm slows down, it's just going to hover over this area for up to 48 hours. if you're in a position of vulnerability or without power, it's quite likely you're going to be in that situation for a day or two.
it's really the length of the storm and the time the storm is going to spend over wilmington that's quickly becoming the story in addition to that storm surge and the rain. >> we can't help but notice as you're driving in the streets, there is power. the update right now is there are 280,000 customers in north carolina without power. talk about the winds expected to hit or hitting now at 60 or 70 miles per hour. >> this is what's going to bring that power down, are these entire trees that are now falling into the road. we're now in downtown sort of wilmington in the old historic district. with the trees falling in this area, you can bet that in the surrounding areas in the more rural areas, those trees have already fallen. again, when you talk about the duration of the storm -- and
that's really what this storm is going to be known for, is the duration of the storm. it's going to be a couple of days before these trees can get out of the roadway. there were a few rural areas north of the city, some of those neighborhoods are just no longer accessible. you can't get into those neighbors, whether police are cutting them off or whether trees have cut off the roads. they're just becoming unpassable. add to all of that, officials can't get out once those winds get over about 55 miles an hour. we're sort of right at this cusp. in wilmington, up until about six hours ago if you needed to get to a shelter, you could still get to one, you could still call officials and they could come and get you. that time has now run out. >> you mentioned wrightsville beach.
i imagine in a different kind of hurricane where wind would be the principle issue, they would provide some sort of protex to the city itself. here this is almost less about sustained wind and much more about the sustained rains. >> right. so the area that we're in right now, much more urban, certainly not a city, but it's an urban area. you've got these buildings that can sort of provide a buffer from the wind. when you talk about wrightsville beach and topsail beach, these are the barrier islands. just a single bridge connects the mainland out to those barrier islands, those areas were under mandatory evacuation. some people certainly did stay behind. but under mandatory evacuation because there's nothing to buffer the storm, the wind, the elements, the houses out there on those barrier islands.
these are areas that have become more populated in the last decade or two. while there hasn't been a major storm that's caused destruction to the alcohctual properties, ts caused a lot of sprawl. these are absolutely stunning areas. people want to vacation on the water, they want to retire on the water because it's stunning it's beautiful. but the flip side is you have these events that certainly seem to be coming more frequently. it will be interesting to see how these barrier islands -- what kind of water these areas can hold, especially when we're talking about 48 hours of sustained hurricane type rain.
>> talk about the resources available to people, the evacuation shelters, how many are available, are they at capacity at this moment and is it too late for people to turn to them as this point since you mentioned this is when it's going to be difficult for people to mobilize. >> reporter: i think right now authorities are going to say we've sort of reached the cutoff point where we can safely move you into these shelters. there are a dozen or so shelters in and around wilmington. most of them are at schools, usually those single story brick buildings that are pretty safe. some are at capacity, some are not. authorities were going on the air waves, especially the local news at 11:00 p.m. and were saying to people, if you still
want to leave even if you have a pet, we can get you out to these shelters. again, the duration is going to be sort of an unfolding story line as we move into friday and saturday as well. people with medical issues are going to be under that sort of long-term stress that authorities take so much time and care to warn against. >> cal perry for us there on the streets of wilmington, north carolina. of course, we'll check back in with you. c >> let's move north-northeast to new bern, north carolina. garrett haake is there. what's the latest that you're seeing there this morning?
>> reporter: hey, david and franc frances. i've got good news and bad news. we are back in new bern, north carolina. the bad news is i cannot hear you. so forgive any awkwardness as we try to talk about the conditions here. we were forced to pull out last night because the water of the noose river had come up too far too fast. we were concerned we would be on an island here not being able to get in and out. we had to stop to clear a tree out of the highway that connected new bern and greenville. as we've come back into downtown, here's the picture. power completely out across the city of new bern. as many as 150 people were looking for rescue from high water. we were trying to get to those addresses. we are nearly a mile from the noose river, at least where the river is supposed to be, but already we've got water here
that in these conditions in the complete darkness, frankly, we just not going to risk. as i tried to kind of wander around out there in my boots and waders, it was up to knee high. that's enough to float an suv. that's not something we're going to play around with. this entire community has been dealing with this storm since about noon yesterday when they started to see the surge. about 3:00 p.m. is when the rain started. it has not stopped in any meaningful way. the combination of that surge being so much higher than this community is used to and frankly than had been forecasted. we had a forecast yesterday saying about six feet of surge. we're looking at at least nine feet so far and possibly more than that. we won't know again until about 11:00 this morning how bad it's going to be.
as the power has gone out, the rain has continued. that water he feer level has co to rise and continued to be a problem. the silver lining, if there are any, is there has not been a significant wind event here. we've had some trees down, but not as many as anticipated, looking at tropical storm force winds as expected. but the water continues to be a concern here not only on the river but as far as as a mile where we are now. we're going to continue to probe into these neighborhoods as the light increases here and it gets a little bit safer to do so. i'm going to throw it back to you. we'll take a quick break and continue our coverage right after this. break and continue our coverage right after this
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florence about to make landfall in north carolina, that according to the national hurricane center, the storm just about 30 miles away from wilmington, north carolina, where we find my colleague craig melvin. joe fryer is in jackvillsonvill north carolina. craig, what can you tell us about what you're seeing there as the storm begins to make landfall on the coast of north carolina?
>> reporter: the wind continue here, david. at last check, they were gusting north of 60-70 miles per hour. the major concern right now, at least where we are, when the winds pick up, there's lots of debris around. i think i showed you last time one of these shingles. we continue to see these shingles come off the roof of our hotel. we continue to see trees snapped in two or more parts at least in some cases. that's going to be one of the major concerns in and around wilmington is flying debris, trees on power lines, power outages around north carolina right now of 280,000 so far. tens of thousands without power here in wilmington right now. the mayor of wilmington telling me yesterday that was going to likely be the case for several days. duke power, the major power company, giving the heads-up on that yesterday, that the power outages would be persisting for
some time. now, the eye of the storm expected around 8:00 this morning. that's about 2 1/2 hours from now. what we're seeing right now, a couple hours from now, this will slow down just a bit, the wind will die down a bit and then it will pick up right after the eye of the storm passes. so the concern here in wilmington, rain right now, the wind right now. in a few hours, though -- >> all right. having trouble with craig melvin's shot, understandably. let's see if we can get back to him. we lost you, craig. >> reporter: you got me back. am i back with you? >> we got you back. >> reporter: all right. let's not take any chances. let's get to joe fryer there in jacksonville, north carolina. what's the scene like there? >> reporter: in the last few minutes, the rain has definitely picked up. we're feeling more rain. the winds continue to be an
issue. every now and then a very strong gust picks up. we can tell you nearly 300,000 people in north carolina have lost power. we actually lost power at 9:00 last night before the winds were even remotely this bad. that should tell you how easily one can lose power. the storm is only going to pick up and get worse as it moves throughout carolina here. we also know that there is a report of a hotel here in jacksonville that had to be evacuated last night out of a sense of precaution, about 70 people evacuated. they were concerned about the structural integrity of that hotel. so those people were taken to a safer place. right now the concern is to get through the wind and heavy rain that's going on right now as the hurricane makes its way toward landfall. after that, the concern in communities like this, not just on the coast but inland, is going to be the flooding. jacksonville, for example, is actually right along a river. you take it about 20 miles down the road, then you're in the
ocean. that river could also experience storm surge and flood a good portion of low lying areas of this city and depending on how bad it is, even higher portions. you have all the rain coming down today and into the weekend. that remains a major concern. you look at what happened in new bern. it's a similar situation. it is on a river. it really got hit with the storm surge early and they've had to rescue about 150 people there in new bern. people in jacksonville have a similar situation. they are also on a river that has ties to the ocean. the good news is jacksonville had voluntary evacuations a couple of days ago and the rest of the county had mandatory evacuations. a lot of people have moved out of here or at least on higher ground. we spoke with one woman who told us she's at the fire department with her family. >> the reasons people straay, mh
more than being stubborn, but for financial reasons, health reasons, for their pets. what are you hearing from people there in jacksonville leading up to this? >> reporter: yeah. you know, everyone has different reasons for why they choose to stay. one of the most common reasons we hear about is that people simply can't afford to stay or there is some sort of medical issue. the county organized some school buses, a fleet of school buses to take people who needed it to the raleigh area. so a good two-hour drive to get them out of here, a number of people, hundreds of people took them up on that offer. many of them were elderly or people who might have been using wheelchairs or things like that and needed to get out of here and to safer ground. for those who choose to stay, part of it is because they've been through this before and they don't think it's going to
be that bad or they're on higher ground. you can find very few businesses open here. things were shuttered. they have put plywood up on the windows here even though we are not quite right on the ocean. we've talked with people who said they feel like they were on safe ground. you won't find many people out and about, especially right now. with the power out, you can't see anything. behind me here, there is a restaurant. that's a logan's restaurant. and just to the right of me is a lowe's hardware store. it is pitch black here on top of the rain and the wind. just not a safe situation. >> joe, i want to ask you about this place. we've talked to a number of colleagues dispatched to beach communities, places with a lot of tourists and retireretirees. jacksonville has a major military installation. it's the home to camp lejeune. what does this place look like
geographically and who lives there? >> reporter: this is a military town without a doubt. here you have a very young population. that's because so many of the people here are in their 20s and they're here with their families. so here at the hotel, the people who are working with us at the hotel, their husband is on the base. that makes up a good portion of the demographic. because of that, one thing county officials mentioned is a concern that a lot of the people aren't really from here so they don't have much history here. people here who have been here for a while will talk about hurricane fran in the '90s that's when jacksonville saw a pretty good amount of flooding. most of the people who live here aren't familiar with that. that is one of the concerns they have, which is why they were trying to educate people about that. there is no mandatory evacuation for the camp, but obviously they know what they're doing and they're trying to keep things safe and also perhaps ready to
help out with any rescues with necessary. >> joe fryer, thank you for us. >> bill karins with us here in new york as we continue to monitor this storm. as i say about 30 miles offshore, east of wilmington, north carolina. you've been sifting through that latest update from the national hurricane center. >> we actually have our first cities that are now getting into the eye. we're still maybe one hour, two hours away from the official landfall. but you can clearly see that that heavier band has now moved inland a little bit. actually the heavier rain is getting closer to wilmington too. let's zoom in a little bit closer. here's the wilmington area. this is the center and this is the eye. let's see if we can pinpoint a couple of the cities. surf city, you're the first location. wrightsville beach, you have the strongest rain band and wind. you're in that eye wall
currently. so is the kirkland area. the topsail beach area is up here. this is the location that looks hike we' ee like we're going to get the official landfall. if i want to track and say how long, remember it's moving at about 6 miles an hour. this is the center of the eye. it's only about six or seven miles away from making the official landfall. that would be approximately one hour from right now. it's a little earlier than projected, but these things wobble a little bit and it kind of sped up. let's get into some of the geek numbers here because we still have to worry about the storm surge. this is the beaufort area, this is carteret county. the record of hazel was 6.9 back in 1954. then we're supposed to be going
now to the low tide. that should be the red dotted line. it's all the way up here. that's because the winds are out of the south and the water levels are already running about two feet higher than they're supposed to. right now is supposed to be the low tide. the next six hours we head toward this high tide which they had predicted at 6.8. i've got a funny feeling this is going to be much higher than this because the winds are still out of the south. that will be one of the things to watch, to see if the next high tide is worse than what we had at midnight. this river forecast, this is the northeast cape fear river, this is a little bit oh the northetot of the wilmington area. this shows you the river heights. this is the record, 22.5. that was hurricane floyd. we passed the record as we go through sunday night. then we say ttay two feet above
record all the way through wednesday. that means roads washed out, homes with water and people evacuated because of the river all the way into the middle of next week. that's crazy. 72 into next week. wilmington, 72 miles per hour. the wilmington area, stay in your homes over the next three or four hours of strongest winds and you will experience as we are watching the eye making land fall. we'll check back in with you. there are people waking up and finding out the situation there as hurricane florence makes way. let's turn to marianne atencio. give us the update there. >> reporter: these trees, i don't know if you can make that out, we are starting to sway much more of the oak trees.
i am 150 yards from the intercoastal water way and a mile from the beach. we are starting to feel the full effect of florence here. as we were just hearing of land fall is an hour or two from now in the wilmington area. that's about 40 minutes north of where we are and as we are hearing that almost 300,000 people in the state of north carolina are without power. the people here in oak island are still lucky power is still on. but, i have been speaking to the police department over the phone and i think we have some updates from our joe friar, you are in wilmington, 40 minutes north of where i am. dylan, you have some updates for us. >> they all sound the same.
>> that eye wall is making its way right now and significantly increasing and torrential downpours. the rain and winds both picked up here. when you have a 50 to 60 miles per hour sustained winds. that pressure on the branches and the small limbs and the larger limbs on the trees will start to take them down. we are getting higher gusts on top of that. we had wilmington of five inches of rainfall. we still have the entire eye wall to go through and the entire backside of the storm to go through as well. whn we are talking about the storm slowing down its speed, it hits over this area. the rain is going to pile up. most rain ever in a three day period of wilmington, carolina is 19.5 inches. if we get the 35 inches of rain that'll occur in two days. that'll be some record rainfall and then we got that storm surge
that's going to move in closer to high tides. we are predicting that around 11:30 this morning. we are in the worse of the winds right now. the rain is coming down. the worse we have seen the last several hours but it is the high tide just after 11:30 we are concerned of the flooding to combine with all the other conditions revealing right new. once that eye wall continues to make its way on shore, it may just hover. we can get a little bit of a break here in wilmington. if it sits right here, we can be in these types of conditions for several hours. that's a wait and see. it is all casting at this point as we wait and see what this storm us. >> dylan, each of these storms are different but hearing from you and the governor of north carolina say we have days to go with this storm. what are the consequences the fact that we can face many more
days of severe rainfall. >> reporter: well, there is several. focus on on the wind. when you have the strong wind over an extended period of time and fairly good structures will take a beating. you will start to see roofs of gas stations and peal off and structures. when you have 35 inches of rain piling up, that's not going to soak into the ground and it piles up faster than it can lead. that's why you have the fresh water flooding. the storm surge continues to push that water on shore. that'll become les as and less an issue as the storm moves on. it is just really as the rain flooding at this point.
once they over flood their banks, it takes a long time. >> we have seen the winds and branches whipping behind you and you are able to stand. our colleague craig melvin had to take shelter because it was so bad. we are now put in danger and we have to step aside because seems like you are still standing firm. >> reporter: i want to point out that we are standing here but if i go here and just climb right in, we are in a parking structure. we are totally safe, this is where our crew is and our cars are. we are literally a couple steps away from getting out of this. i want to point out that my producer, sean, is about seven feet tall and he's just kind of my look out. people always say why are you out in the storm if you are telling people to go inside.
it is raising awareness about how bad it can be. a lot of people have left and they want to know what's going on in town that they evacuated from. we in a very safe way and as safe as we can to bring folks information. that's why we are here. >> sure. >> we'll not do anything that puts us in danger and we'll play it as safe as we can. >> that's what we'll continue to see. >> thank you, dylan and mariana. >> msnbc continues with our coverage of florence as the storm is getting closer making land fall. thank you for being with us. ♪
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♪ add-on advantage. discounted hotel rates when you add on to your trip. only when you book with expedia. you are looking at live pictures battering the east coast as the carolinas facing strong winds and steep storm surges. it is a slow moving storm that could sit over the region for days causing major flooding. we'll go to bill karen just a moment to get a live report from the coast. normally a hurricane making land fall would be the loan focus of the morning. this morning, there are multiple breaking news stories that we are also covering. paul manafort may be clo