(Weather Channel) More than 130,000 homes and businesses have lost power as Hurricane Florence smashed into eastern North Carolina late Thursday evening. Florence crashed into the coast with heavy surf and torrential rain that triggered flooding and knocked down trees.

The first flooding was reported near N.C. 12, the roadway that runs through the Outer Banks – the chain of barrier islands off the North Carolina coast. The state Transportation Department said water and sand cover the highway near Rodanthe and in Avon, Buxton and just north of Hatteras Village.

Flooding also worsened Thursday in New Bern, a city of about 30,000 located along the Neuse River when the river overflowed its banks. Roads were covered with flood water in what was expected to be the first of many waves of ever-worsening floods for the city.

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