North Carolina TV Station Evacuates Newsroom as Hurricane Florence Floods City

Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 - AP Photo- ONE TIME USE -H 2018
Tom Copeland/AP Photo

Staffers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12, an ABC affiliate, had to abandon their studio.

Rising water forced a North Carolina TV station to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of Hurricane Florence coverage.

Hours before the storm made landfall Friday, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding.

The weather service later measured a storm surge 10 feet deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. Friday. New Bern tweeted early Friday that 150 people were awaiting rescue.

A video posted on Twitter showed a meteorologist telling viewers they'd be taken to coverage from sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach.

Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.

"We had to leave our station due to rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence. However, our sister station, WPDE in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is providing coverage and we'll continue to post to social media and our website. Feel free to share your photos and videos to us but, most important, stay safe," the station shared in a Facebook post.

Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 mph winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to half a million homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

Federal officials are urging anyone who ignored orders to evacuate to hunker down and stay put until the storm passes. They're also saying that people who are truly in an emergency should call 911, not just tweet about it.