Hurricane Isabel

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The early hours of Hurricane Isabel's visit to North Carolina have spawned reports of flooding and power outages.

State officials say Gov. Mike Easley is ready to ask President Bush for a federal disaster declaration as soon as the storm's full force hits.

The state's crime control secretary says officials expect Isabel's brunt to hit early this afternoon. Bryan Beatty says they've already seen wind gusts around 50 miles-per-hour, and expect stronger winds later.

Beatty says there will be many more power outages as the storm moves through. And he says power crews and hundreds of National Guardsmen are ready to move in to help people and restore power once the danger subsides.

He says the state has survived other strong storms, and he says the goal is to come through this one as safely as possible. Sept. 18