Storm surge engulfs New Bern, search and rescue teams work to recover 150 residents

New Bern hit by Florence, flooding and search and rescue missions, Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Credit: Brandon-Clement / Live Storm Media)

Storm surge has engulfed New Bern as Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville beach early Friday morning.

Search and rescue missions began Thursday evening and are continuing. There are currently 150 residents who are awaiting rescue, the City of New Bern tweeted.

Teams of first responders have rescued 200 residents, Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Today Show. Her message to those who remain stranded was, "Be patient, we're on the way. We will get you rescued — all 150."

Ahead of Florence's landfall, the National Weather Service office in Morehead City reported a storm surge 10 feet above normal levels. The Neuse River has overflowed.

The city issued this map to track the flooding levels.

Whitecap waves could be seen crashing in the downtown area on Front St. A number of cars were submerged.

Water levels rose substantially in the Bridge Pointe Marina where a number of boats capsized from the 90 mph winds or sank.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is warning of major flooding in New Bern. Those remaining in the area should assume roads are impassable. NCDOT will be providing continuous updates on road conditions.

The National Weather Service continues to warn of "life-threatening, catastrophic flooding" due to Florence. The rains and flooding will continue through early next week.

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