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Photos and videos show the flooding and devastation as Hurricane Florence hits North Carolina

Alexandra Ma

Hurricane Florence has arrived in the US, lashing the East Coast with torrential rain, high winds, and massive floods.

Almost 300,000 people in North Carolina and South Carolina have lost power, with power companies expecting millions more to do so.

One hundred and fifty people in New Bern, North Carolina, are also trapped and awaiting government assistance.

Scroll down to see what the hurricane's impact looks like on the ground.

This was Wilmington, North Carolina, as the most ferocious part of the storm passed over on Friday morning.^tfw

The canopy of this BP petrol station in Topsail Beach, NC, was completely blown away.^tfw

This video, taken in Belhaven, NC on Thursday, shows water levels from the Pungo River reaching as high as people's windows.^tfw

Journalists reporting on the hurricane were also lashed by the winds and rain.^tfw^tfw

Water from the Neuse River has toppled the banks and swallowed up multiple streets in New Bern, North Carolina.

New Bern has been hit hard. As of 3:30 a.m. local time Friday, some 150 people in the city were trapped and waiting for help.

Read more:
Hurricane Florence has 150 trapped, stranded as flood waters swallow small North Carolina town

This basketball court in New Bern was completely flooded.

Floods around the city have come up to people's hips.

Michael Nelson, who lives in New Bern, is floating in a makeshift boat of metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River flooded his street.

You can see his makeshift boat a little clearer here as he wades through his street late Thursday night.

Some people are evacuating their houses. This man loads his belongings in his car as he evacuates his house in New Bern.

Others around the state are taking shelter. As of Friday morning, some 12,000 North Carolinians have gone to stay in shelters as they brace for Florence to make landfall.

At least 280,000 people are without power in North Carolina and South Carolina. Power companies expect millions more to lose power, and say restoration could take weeks.^tfw

Source: WRAL-TV

The armed forces are also on hand to help out.

The Alaska Air National Guard has also sent pararescuers to help out. Here they are waiting to be dispatched earlier this week.

Store owners have boarded up their windows and left sandbags in front of door frames to limit the damage.