Response teams had already "brought in busloads" of rescued people from areas including Fairfield Harbor, New Bern, Adams Creek and Township 7, she said.
"We have the situation here that has developed at the station, and that is of the water getting [so] close to the building that the building has been evacuated", said the station's chief meterologist, Donnie Cox, standing alongside weatherman Shane Hinton, in a video posted to Twitter Thursday night. "The water started rising and we evacuated nearly an entire TV station in about 15 minutes".
WCTI will continue to post on social media, and its sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach, SC will provide coverage. "Just so you know that we are staying here to keep you up to date".
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm with a 10-foot storm surge but forecasters have warned the downgrade will not affect the potential threat of the storm.
For more on Hurricane Florence, visit the FOX 46 Resource Center. "You don't want to put someone in a bucket and send them high into the air to mess with power lines in 70 miles per hour winds". "Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland". Hurricanes off the east coast tend to bog down the weather movement from west to east!
Forecasters warned that conditions are set to deteriorate as the hurricane makes landfall, which is expected to occur this evening.