Transcript for Hurricane Florence's high winds, heavy rains beat down on North Carolina
You're watching continued ABC news live coverage as hurricane Florence officially makes landfall as a category one storm but don't let that fool you it is brought with it. Light threatening storm surge persistent rain historic wind gusts up to 105. Miles per hour. Even tornado watches in effect until 5 PM tonight and we know there have been widespread power outages as well want to show you keep the video here I believe of the roof. Being ripped right off you can see the tar. And the roof being ripped right off of a building there in Wilmington just showing the severity of these wind gusts. Now a category one storm but bringing with it. At those treacherous rains that are not they are un relenting their persistent. ABC's meteorologist militant Griffin joining us now live and Melissa. The latest on the storm track if you happen. Yes Larry Al. Want to start off though because I got the new data and and that's as it according to the rain. Thirty inches of rain has fallen in Atlantic beach North Carolina it. Now parking warrant is an historic storm when it comes the rain because the last time they got out much rain. It was only twenty more inches back in 1990 from hurricane late that this is now breaking warrant has brought the most re on record of North Carolina. Ever so let me think through this land so concerned about this right here is the future path. Because this is what you're gonna see now over the next 24. To 36 hours look at it rained and beaches aren't moving Wilmington are ready twenty inches above normal when it comes to rain. And look at Brett worth Saturday morning. The rain bands are still moving through Wilmington Berry had even into Saturday evening isn't where we could see those Q3 four feet of rain. And that is why we're so concerned about as well into the storm track as we talked about let's look at the radar. And satellite. Are you Martha now at ten miles south of Wilmington, North Carolina and meet the category one and here is the track you can see it. It is just not newbie nearly at all so proud that Friday at QP am. You're gonna see it mean that couple hours and nearly all and end Saturday Q an apt. It's still hovering right around parts of south east North Carolina and moving her trial and at and Myrtle Beach. Down their Charles think it's the rain from net so the tornado watch remains an actor I am. Onward is basically watching that I if you buy him in a little bit on the map. It is high it is basically Humber it. Right down the ho that's why we're so concerned it's stalling hopper and it is not only inland yet that's what you're still seeing these. Really really strong wind gusts and that storm surge continuing it and this you know this very slow motion on the coast of north Carolina's to continue for much so we're not really needs conditions. Changing its and that's. That's basically the biggest. Concern that we have a warrant at this is so Melissa for those who aren't as familiar with hurricane and at terminology. What exactly does storm surge meet and they seemed rudimentary at actually experts like you but what is storm surge mean and what is that the debate if he concern there. So what storm surge basically when you have a hurricane this powerful what it can view it's pile up the water. So the hurricane Florence sent that slowed down it had a lot of times a high hill up that water and now but it's stalling on short. It's pushing all that water onshore when you have those on shore winds that are on the east side of the hurricane. Those are all those ways. Combined with the water that's highly up in the ocean is being slammed right into the shorelines so you have water levels. Going up to 6789. Even if a wedding eat. Above what they should be and when you combine that with heights high. That is when you have a recipe for disaster because and the water levels get even higher with heights high so this is basically one of that yet storm surge is actually. The biggest threat to life and property when it comes to our hurricane all that water it's still powerful and you're really don't we it's not an agent Altman's inland. And when he had a storm like warrants that lingers around for so many hours. That makes the sponsors like threatening to that's why we've been so concerned about aren't even regardless of the weaker. Analysts at thank you so much for that explainer really helps illustrate just how dangerous this is that storm moving as we know it just about six miles per hour. It may seem counter intuitive we've been saying that that it's going slowly and it seems like it might make it less dangerous. It actually makes it more dangerous as Melissa was saying because that storm is now hovering over that area and dumping buckets of rain. We want to at now listen into an interview between Michael Strahan from Good Morning America and a member of the cajun navy is talking about. Those rescue efforts that are well underway right now in the area. Joining us now with South Carolina is hot to rail he is the founder of the united cajun navy Todd thank you for being here with us. And you have a volunteers all of it all of the Carolinas. Be driven hundreds of miles to be there how many volunteer do you have on the ground. Well as of right now this morning we have three or intend volunteers on the ground and that's from nine different states. 300 Tampa minded mistaken what condition the other team right now. Right now we in New Bern and we've we've made 57 confirmed rescues so for this morning. Are we working with the local authorities down there to make risk used. We're got a lot more than that but that's what I know of so far because there's there's dealing with a tidal surge right now I think are really really strong. And obviously guys coming closer that area. The tide came out really really strong foundation the big say in just about and allow the dividend did not get out. But not a dry about a lot of got stuck in ditches and roads and a lot of good we're rigorous Brohm bombs their vehicles. And how many people do you know how many people you have rescued so far. More normal wanted to say good confirmation order yet bread adamant that he severed rescue we had they said there was at least three people were rescued. So I'm looking at so forever Ryan sixteen around 74 at least. A 16070. You guys do by any means if necessary at mid air mattresses. I've been told have been used to help people. Right we we know we have air boats and fanned by news the parliament those are the winds were so high. We couldn't get there was in there because the windward problem you know and it would make it an unsafe for us so we had actually had to use our Carla Pryor matches isn't what people out. And you indicated maybe you let in incredible rescue effort during hurricane Harvey is well how does this compare. All the difference in this was hurt or redone the warmer came ended there was a rainstorm of the rainy been well a couple of days. And the wars came up and was cut alike are a slow moving it was ratio flood. This right here came a really really fast and it's basically really really sort of order. The current as ways stronger and has won an award came up like in minutes to someone. 23 speed aboard came up within minutes. A year in Columbia, South Carolina right now what preparations on your team making there. Are right now we're out glorious South Carolina is where we based our main operation on the South Carolina how far school in the eyes appear to college. And a lot of the sorties were here so we figured we'd be in a close vicinity of where they were. Arm right now we're about to mobilize in Great Falls which is about. And about yourself 45 minutes from where react here. The Great Falls is an area where it is three counties and they're expecting a lot of flooding in that area so reaction got a bunch of votes in her own a record right now. So we'll just about double our volunteer board but he admitted I didn't. Would write thank you touch a rail thank you think that cajun army and all the other volunteers who have the are you guys please. Be safe. Aged eighty just one of many entities in North Carolina and South Carolina and now conducting rescues we know that more than a hundred people were trapped at one point in New Bern where we've seen that harrowing images coming. Officials they're telling us the water is risen at least to twelve feet and they said that at the waters were to stop altogether right now it would still take a week. For the water to recede from that area so and the governor of North Carolina telling us their teams from nineteen states that are now assisting in those rescue efforts. Want to go now to Wilmington where ABC's David near has been standing by and standing in the middle. You see behind me just whipping around here and I should mention the that we've had a number tweets reviewers have you. You really really appreciate them so I keep them coming but we do you want it now that the entire greeted here with me on this morning we're keeping everybody's stated that there's. What you can't see what kind of range here is a giant concrete wall of this hotel. All right bill straw that sort of protect us from any kind of debris whipping around those corners but it is a concern for us to. What you it's either rain coming down sheets of rain could last for hours and that we're getting some of the the staggering numbers already Robin to think about this. Thirty inches of rain have fallen already in Atlantic beach North Carolina thirty ages. The last. A little that actually being used here was point four inches of rain that was back in Lloyd. In the late nineties and that was significant at light at the time sort of that respectively or a few more rain in that very it is already there saying in some spots. Expect that the forty inches of rain if this hurricane that's why there. Really concerned about the store officer we've already seen that it do or North Carolina this morning but the fact that it hurt it's old slow moving. Five miles per hour at some points moving very personally that's like illegal union activists and what it concerned. It's truly the water you could see that win and you could see the destruction of the wind around like television news this morning. But it's the rain the water and how it moves in very quickly. The storm battering the coast. Pushing that water the storm surge in it and that the next wave of water that's my receipt streets already inundated and will continue to follow that this morning in. And as we've been saying all morning long but authorities are most concerned about is the back but. Many people it stay behind they stayed here and it could take some time we get checked it with the National Guard just a short time ago and they told us. And it won't be able to get those choppers. At least until this afternoon certainly not these we think you have high water vehicles. If they plan to take out propagated try to do some of the rescues. That we've seen that have been necessary already this morning in one of those incredible. I'd be up to about it duke or North Carolina as the fact that. People would have private boats have begun to try to jump in and help states of those families. Steve Atwater was going right at that condominium building its own here and in some of those homes there that water rising so quickly. Have we heard from officials that is some of the rescue crews aren't even able to be deployed in those areas because that situation is so dangerous and the conditions are so very treacherous a he robot is now in Wilmington area in similar conditions need to David mirror which we've heard are ferocious. You can see right now some of those significant gusts of wind that David was just referring to but not surprising at all that that 105 mile per hour wind. What's reported not far from here we are on the other side. Of the I wall and it is just whipping around and around you like it a moment of wall and then an incredibly strong gusts. Just come seemingly out of nowhere we are in a very C structured. Parking garage we have it roof above us and content on the site it's right to get. I'm wondering. Why are you doing this we're showing people the strength of these winds and its rain that is coming in North Carolina few matter Wilmington right now. And out we know that this isn't going away any time and that's what makes the dorm. No significant. It is moving so slowly and the rain is coming down as much as three inches an hour if not more and we have the Cape Fear river here behind it. And high tide around noon today but what makes this storm so devastating as that we are going to be making several high tide. With these winds and its rain and snow the flooding concerns are significant but with these winds right now. That is certainly their story in Wilmington at this hour and of course concerns for flying debris everyone needs to be made they protected based. Those who chose this day I will say walking around downtown Wilmington yesterday it was fairly hearing of course some people dated. But a lot of people didn't and how and you can see why authorities urged people to do so even for a category one hurricane guys. Dad. Amy robots all of our crews staying safe out there taking the utmost precaution we appreciate the concern and of course that the chief concern is for the residents to remain at some of these heavily inundated areas. One of those most affected right now that we know of is New Bern, North Carolina I want to show you some the images. Coming out of that area we talked to officials say that the water has piled up to at least. Twelve feet you can see the real damage this is inflicting those friends are cars. Submerged under water. It's just harrowing tale of what. Some of these residents are coping with that they decided to stay there we heard tales of people staying on their rooftops and asking for help. In the area at the cajun navy has deployed as we heard Michael street and talking to an official just moments ago on Good Morning America. Trying to assist in this rescue effort. Nineteen different states. Has sent. In resources to try to assist in North Carolina alone we want to show you off this time lapse video I believe we have it from new burn. Did you tell you how quickly this storm has piled up the water. Saturday it starts out looking pretty benign and all of a sudden that why about wild water is encroaching and they keep danger from this storm as we've been hearing for meteorologist. Is that it could linger. And and is Humber inflicting. Having wreaking Havoc on these areas that have partied and so battered by persistent rainfall we know this is a category one storm. The category is just based on the wind speeds and the wind speeds have now encroached upon 105. Miles per hour. That was written latest reported from Wilmington I believe and and that is historic. We have been told by our meteorologist rob Marciano to sending in a note saying this is the first time in sixty years. That they had seen wind gusts up to 105 miles per hour and we now have Melissa Griffin with us as well aren't our meteorologist Melissa not only is it the wind gusts but it is primarily the rainfall doing so much damage and you mentioned that historic as well. It is we have seen reports Atlantic beach north Carolina at thirty inches of rain cell. We are watching closely on this rain forecast because 24 inches is the record for tropical cyclone rainfall in North Carolina and we thought we are gonna need it and and it looks like we can't and this is just the beginning I mean it's it's only thing going first they about twelve hours now. And we had diss a laughed at that so it's a start out by showing that track again because it's so important. To understand exactly how slow it's moving so you see it there right north of Wilmington it's going to continue its slide. South southwest into parts of South Carolina and that is between now through Saturday morning. That it is not moving much at all and here's that radar so these kind of zeman here a little bit more we can see where it's going now so it's it's good. South of Wilmington that I EC there's still on the coast they mean it is just lashing the area with extremely heavy rain and that's why it's going to continue to be our. Mean concern over the next few hours and days. Analysts that we've talked about the tornado watches that had stem from this system as well power outages numbering in more than 300000 at last check which. It could be even more widespread and that we're gonna continue to check in with you as much as we cant we appreciate your insights. Now wanna go out heavily router and Wilmington and had been up all night covering this culvert needed across the country annaly we see getting hammered there. I hope condition deteriorated. Beyond here. I area I I think. We hear what women have. And the winning run between the hours then I'm listening I'm really I'm mad at me. Nothing that would mean that can mean they can't match up. Or other rain all around and around we haven't reportedly got here. Five plants out we're back with the perspective on it. Power is now out where we are this tree like that I had and tender cleared the air now out. We've seen things ripping down the street behind me an awning might be able that he and the building back there would. The big red dot they did not laughing. I lost at now. I've now for bluntly. Parts can. I annaly that you're doing an excellent how about there and really cracked brake condition. I'd tell us a little bit and he's seen any people around you are get that look like a ghost town where you live. Earlier we not a few. A new part here in air but now I. Around that. Don't gain it out it. The court but her morning on that completion republic might get help there they're calling the act like you imagine with hundreds kind. Or some Al. Under Cooper elsewhere waiting for helping tech parent very dangerous and illegal though actually. Word on and it tells her even more currently not that debris up flying down as great and of course they're trying to make it means it. But that not at that situation and certainly of the car behind you right now and I hope that they are well trained talent they're feeling. As that storm start after they say that everything about Burton. Hot water that the flash flood whats going on right now you aren't. Ari Emily I guess what happened one last thing you and I are both mid western girls were used to tornadoes there is a tornado watch in. Back if you can hear me. But how does it compare to some of that natural disasters the other storm you've covered in the path. Exactly right they're girls right here and that's like being really scared of tornadoes but it. If you will and similar feminist issue when things change rarely asked I think. That's when that really know. Notable thing that we. Out here this morning. If the direction of the claim that rain hitting eight and then from behind it is very wild at how quickly. Yeah. I heard this private the whole Clinton under the current plan together and they're all coming through an air swirling around that it after the meeting the wants. But they are in danger is if you're out there without protect him without health care and. Only if I figure that there are few people that you've seen around that we hope like you said that people in the car behind you knew what they were doing. And we wish you the very fat that'd be stopping standing in this condition we appreciate it felt my. I'm Melissa Griffin our meteorologist has been seen as sitting our weather center monitoring this for many hours many days now and Melissa this is unfortunately making history and all the wrong way it's. It really is area Al Ani at least I that we and you silent with being an air in. Our last live shot and it changes so. As she sat at what should this not here because it's interesting we're showing he Witten got over the past twelve to eighteen hours you can see colors here. Where the red is that's where the wind is happening now acts were the highest. Like your further north fort meek on hunter I'm not ours keep look at that miles per hour Ellen last night the overnight and now Wilmington. And parts nets out of Wilmington are getting slammed with gusts over. A hundred miles per hour you can see all right here on the map I when actually. Bring it back to show you need it because this is a hurricane force winds are 74 mile per hour plus you can see it as taking or parts of southeastern North Carolina. At that red circle. Get smaller because it interacting with land it's gonna start to eat it but still we're looking at tonight. He steals he's happy for my out our mile our guts lasting from west Wellington county term Myrtle Beach it reaches. Late night into the overnight hours and even the tropical storm force winds of war and continued right into Saturday warnings that we are not done. With these wind is going to continue now for 24 at 36 hours for parts of the Carolinas and that is on top of all the rain. On top of all the storm surge and of course that tornado watch that you mentioned continues right at this evening's. While Melissa this is a sixty year storm as we've heard it's really making history as far as the rainfall as far as the wind gusts go. Had they been at all surprising that kind of damage this storm has been applicator that basically right along with what the models are showing with happen. So we've been watching this storm very closely over the past couple of days they're at it changes with attractive big changes with the intensity as all hurricanes to you as we tracking so you know what I find the most interesting is that. The Wii is really I mean that's taking aim at all the ninety mile per hour category one hurricane but. He saw historic wind gusts for parts of North Carolina and he Wilmington saw hundred Aaron got. They've been seeing it kind of leaned in sixty years self. All the people that have moved there for the past couple years the people you know over the past twenty years this area has really built up in they have not seen conditions like that so I think that's the most important part here. Now with the models and the rainy. That really be watching this for eighth and it hasn't really changed me been expecting these 234. Foot re told that happen. And now they are happenings out that that I wasn't surprised with at all I knew was gonna happen models have been shelling it and now it's starting and we'll continue. Melissa Griffin thank you so much reports gonna check in with you as much as we possibly can with the latest on the storm track and add just exactly. What residents there can continue to expect it also is mentioning this storm is not letting up at least until Saturday. T meteorologist ginger Z earlier in our coverage was saying she expects to be on the ground there until at least Monday. And one of those areas most affected by this storm surge by the the rain the heavy rains we're seeing. And the dailies there is New Bern, North Carolina where we've seen that the waters pilot to at least twelve. Inches in some places cars submerged want to go now to Julie Wilson for WT VDR affiliate there who's taking a walk through some of those heavily impacted areas. Talking about those rescues that are under way we talk to the cajun navy they're the ones saying they had an endless calls they also told us that they have residents think they have water at the groups we not been happening you've give them my look at this. Look at that sad. That's clock there that's about to topple over are going to be surprised patted down. Sometimes you can really see that's enough they walk over here with me a little but just your rights right down that way if you look there's the Trent river. And you can see there are votes there those votes. The wins there in the top of them out shaking him. But this water certainly a much higher today. We keep the other exit out yet. Mary's feed that thing right in the middle of the road and colonial bear there are bears like that. All over New Bern and other all of a neighbor of the got a concrete base that bear does not belong in the middle of the road but that is where it's out right now it is deep. It is holding on sturdy there's that I just tells you how deep and how quick some of these waters. But Jeff let's look at this way a little bit because this area these businesses they have seen some of this damage that is coming through on a show you that. You can see this water here's just made a mess of this. Right here. Let me see here. And you thinking this right at want to show you we know waters have been into the buildings here because we can see. The mud on the ground it has been in there so certainly these people who come back to this are going to be dealing with a little bit of a mess to clean up. Whitman if they do return. We've also been seeing a lot of this debris on the ground. This is really nothing compared to what we actually been seeing and might appear so you some more that a lot of businesses doing this right here. Boarding up some of them have been leaving messages on the ground certainly blue magnolia and saying. Said that flow all play they are not a fan of this. I'm farther appear it'll allowed we're gonna go by generator as you said earlier this whole city is with out power thousands of people here. Do not have power yet the opportunity to speak with someone from the county John and Barbara and that they tell us that they are not going to be. Putting workers got here until this winds itself it's and it's witnesses in coming. In sports just come out of here let's show these folks who are watching at home this tree. Look at this this guy been. Pushed over by some of the force of the winds have been coming down through here this is Adam won its trees that decorate the sidewalk here. In the city where abouts where I want to show you today. So yes that curfew. Is in effect an opportunity to speak with them airports and hear her name is Sabrina. And she told listen as she described the flooding is epic. Those were her words. Ethic her husband said that he had a business that it not an underwater since that huge hurricane happen in the 50s well this morning. It is under water and this is what we wanted to show you folks this route here. This is collapsed this water. Is just pouring down through the top of this thing because the top stories fallen into that second story there. You'd see quite a mess despite them boarding this up and leaving a message or hurricane Florence. Lawrence did not heed that message and it has collapsed and so quite a mess here. And we do expect it to us continue to help them as part of new burn throughout the day. And they heard it it's being called an epic flood and that area an epic storm Julie Wilson from Debbi TV he we appreciate that as well. We know now that we are gonna talk to Tom postured here is a former national security advisor and Allen ABC news contributor of course at resources are going to poor maintenance area we have time with us yet. OK so we're gonna get back to Thompson but our reporters on the ground have been telling us about the conditions they're facing that we've seen those battering Wayne. The band of reign that continue. To hammer the area we know there have been thirty inches. Of rain in some areas already and the storm is expected to linger stick around its operating it's just wearing a at six miles per hour. Covering and wreaking Havoc at our meteorologists have been saying two at this as a category one storm. That chatter gets categorization is based on. Wind speeds but what we been hearing from our meteorologist is that they key concern here is the storm surge. And we heard quite detailed analysis from analysts anger and our meteorologist just a couple of moments ago about what that storm surge means those waters. That rise and pile up and can even make. There way inland and cause serious damage and threat to life we talked to the North Carolina governor Roy Cooper who spent at least. Nineteen states has sent teams to help with rescue efforts but in some areas the conditions are just so treacherous. That those of that though is that rescue efforts cannot be undertaken by first responders the cajun navy is out we know that they've undertaken at least 57 rescues.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.