This NOAA/RAMMB satellite image taken at 16:30 UTC on September 13, 2018, shows Hurricane Florence beginning to hit the US east coast. / AFP / NOAA/RAMMB / HO /
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Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas early Friday with howling winds, life-threatening storm surges and torrential rains as it edged closer to the coast in what officials warned is a "once in a lifetime" event.Reports said coastal streets in North Carolina were flooded and winds bent trees to the ground as the storm, which has been downgraded to Category 1 and is weakened and slower moving than in recent days, prepared to make landfall at some point on Friday.In a display of the early effects of the storm, one flood gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina, showed three meters of flooding, the NHC said.
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