Trees, debris fill Wilmington's streets in Florence's wake

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Water Street lived up to its name in Wilmington this morning as Hurricane Florence roared ashore, flooding roads, smashing windows, and generally leaving behind a widespread mess.

Florence made landfall along nearby Wrightsville Beach just after 7 this morning as a Category 1 storm. Howling 90-mph winds and gusts over 100 mph pushed water up into the town of Wilmington as the storm blew through.

FOX 46’s Ann Wyatt Little was able to explore the damage during the first break in the rain around 9 a.m. Branches and leaves littered the streets while large trees were uprooted, some leaning against homes while others blocked the brick streets.

“This is my street.  There go all of our beautiful trees. Very sad,” one resident said as he took in the scene, camera in hand. “It’s gonna take a week or two to clean it up.”

On nearby Front Street, storefronts were blown out and workers were already sweeping up the shattered glass and trying to secure their shops and restaurants.

“Just a lot of stuff and debris on the ground,” Ann observed as she walked through the mess. “We’ve seen a couple of cars. First responders, mostly.”

As of mid-morning, flooding seemed limited to the Riverwalk area, but as the storm continues to push through and high tide expected around 2 p.m. today, the potential for worse flooding remains.

Stay with FOX 46 for more coverage from Wilmington throughout the storm.