An American flag flying above North Carolina’s Frying Pan Tower has been ripped apart by ferocious winds from Hurricane Florence as the storm approaches the coast. The flag, located 34 miles offshore, has been ripped in two with its edges significantly damaged as it flaps furiously in the wind on a livestream. The New York Times reports that the storm was 110 miles southeast of Wilmington as of 2 p.m. ET, with “tropical-storm-force winds” hitting across the Outer Banks and the southeast coast of North Carolina. The storm has slowed to a Category 2 hurricane, and it will likely remain at that level until the eye of the storm reaches land on Friday. Areas in the storm’s path can expect 20 to 40 inches of rain, with inland cities like Charlotte getting as much as 10 inches. The storm’s cloud cover is also reportedly as large as the Carolinas. Earlier Thursday, New York Police Department Commissioner James O’Neill announced that he sent down 101 members of his police force to help, along with rescue trucks, rescue boats, motors, tools, and hazmat response equipment.
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