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Hurricane Isaias slammed into North Carolina Monday as a category one storm, with winds of up to 85 miles (140 kilometers) an hour, the US National Hurricane Center said.

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The storm came ashore in the southern part of the state near Ocean Isle Beach at 11:10 pm (0310 GMT Tuesday).

Meteorologists warned of heavy rain and potentially life-threatening storm surges.

The storm is expected to track up the East Coast, with heavy rainfall expected to cause flash flooding through the mid-Atlantic states and bringing storm-force winds to Washington, Philadelphia and New York on Tuesday.

Residents in flood-prone areas "should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions," the National Hurricane Center said.

In the hurricane warning zone, "preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," it added.

President Donald Trump announced he had issued emergency declarations for Florida and both Carolinas, to free up federal funds.

"Everyone needs to remain vigilant," he warned during a news conference.

"I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines of the state and local authorities," he said, adding the guidelines have been "very accurate so far."

"So stay safe," he added.

'Pack your masks'

The Carolinas have seen a recent surge in coronavirus cases as the US struggles to curb the spread of the potentially fatal illness.

"We in North Carolina mostly know what to do," the state's governor, Roy Cooper, said Sunday.

"You pack your emergency kit, follow local evacuation orders, stay in a safe place and never drive through flooded roadways.

"But this time, pack your masks and hand sanitizers in your kit and remember to social distance."

Up to 150 National Guard soldiers have been activated to help prepare for the storm and assist in the aftermath if necessary, CoopeRead More – Source