Florence sits on doorstep of Carolinas with projected winds of 100mph

Mindy Sparks
September 14, 2018

Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded by storm surge alone, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference on Thursday local time.

The result: prolonged storm surge, wind and rain.

More than 400,000 customers are without power. Wilmington is now experiencing winds at 85 miles per hour. On the forecast track, the centre of the storm is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said. "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

Officials said people refusing to evacuate could end up alone, drenched and in the dark, as rescue crews won't go out to help in winds above 50 miles per hour.

Prisoners were affected, too.

Inland cities and towns will not be spared from the storm, with anywhere from 5-20 inches of rain forecast to fall in many parts of North and SC. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

The city assured those who were trapped that help was on the way.

Florence's eyewall reached shore near Wilmington, N.C., just before 6 a.m. ET Friday morning; landfall was expected to follow near Wrightsville Beach soon afterward.

He said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 200 miles out.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

The NHC's warning said: "Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds occurring along the North Carolina Coast".

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.

Onslow County: "Major structural damage has been reported to homes and businesses", according to the Weather Channel.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast.

Florence will crawl along the coast through Friday bringing a relentless period of winds gusting over 100mph along with heavy rainfall.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles".

"You need to be prepared to be without power for weeks", Holding said, pointing out that Hurricane Fran knocked out power for two weeks and Hurricane Matthew left him without power for five days. Others were at home hoping for the best. "We just want prayers from everyone". "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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