At least four people were killed as Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast on Friday,14 September, reported Associated Press.

Hurricane Florence smashed into the US East Coast with howling winds, torrential rains and life-threatening storm surges as emergency crews scrambled to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters.

Forecasters warned of catastrophic flooding and other mayhem from the monster storm, which is only Category 1 but physically sprawling and dangerous.

The port city of Wilmington woke Friday, 14 September, to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

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Ken Graham, the NHC’s director, warned the slow pace of the storm exacerbated its danger even to areas outside its immediate path. “The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland,” he said.

Rescue workers in North Carolina meanwhile were scrambling to save people stranded in their homes. Video footage showed parking lots in the riverfront town of New Bern turn into shallow lakes of dirty gray water as heavy rain fell.

It added the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while “catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding” was expected, with some areas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall.

(This copy has been edited for length. With inputs from PTI and AP)

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