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Flood levels quickly rising as Florence hits coastline

CNN's Dianne Gallagher reports.

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 1:50 PM
Updated: Sep 14, 2018 1:54 PM

As Hurricane Florence unleashes a deluge upon North Carolina, the city of New Bern has found itself inundated with floodwater, forcing hundreds of residents to call for help.

According to Colleen Roberts, a spokeswoman for the city, 150 people were waiting to be rescued Friday morning after about 200 were rescued overnight.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," a tweet from the city overnight said. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU."

According to CNN meteorologists, as of early Friday morning, New Bern had already seen more than 10 feet of storm surge and more than 7 inches of rainfall.

The town sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville, North Carolina, on the banks of the Neuse River. On Thursday, a CNN team in the area watched as the water crested over the edge of the river and flooded Union Point Park in a matter of hours.

Roberts said rescuers were facing very challenging conditions, but assured residents help was on the way.

"We tell them to remain calm, not to panic, we will rescue them," Roberts said. "Again, we're having to be strategic about it."

New Bern resident Peggy Perry told CNN she and three relatives were trapped inside her home early Friday.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest," she said. "We are stuck in the attic."

Amber Parker, a spokeswoman for Craven County, where New Bern is located, told CNN early Friday morning the county had already logged more than 100 service calls from residents trapped on their roofs or in their cars.

The county had been conducting water rescues since Thursday, Parker said.

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