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Hurricane rips through US towns with eight months’ worth of rain and 90mph winds

A man prepares to get in a makeshift boat constructed from a metal container and fishing floats as he and thousands more try to flee Hurricane Florence.

Michael Nelson floated off in the bizarre vessel after a river burst its banks and flooded his street in New Bern in the battered US state of North Carolina.

Evacuation warnings were in place for over a million people as the brutal storm landed, with winds of 90mph.

Tens of thousands of homes were without power as sea water washed through towns and left people stranded.

Frightened residents and pets were saved by rescuers. Soldiers have been drafted in.

The governor of the east coast state, Roy Cooper, said surviving the storm would be a test of “endurance, teamwork, common sense, and patience”.

Officials warned it could still kill “a lot of people” and cause “catastrophic” flooding.

The hurricane is expected to last for several days.

North Carolina is likely to see eight months’ worth of rain in two to three days.

An alarming interactive weather forecast did little to ease nerves.

The Weather Channel forecast left some viewers shocked as its presenter stood in the middle of computerised rising flood water, which had a car floating on its surface.

She said: “When the storm surge reaches – this could be about to knock you off my feet and could be enough to float a parked car. This is extremely dangerous.

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“Once we get up to that six foot this water’s over my head, I wouldn’t be able to withstand the force of the water coming in.

“But once we get to the nine foot range that’s when we get into a life-threatening scenario. Extremely dangerous and life-threatening.”

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