Hurricane Florence down to Category 1 but up to no good

Mindy Sparks
September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence again decreased in speed late Thursday and was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, but the storm has already wreaked havoc and meteorologists warn that it will do considerable damage.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina announced an evacuation of the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination.

Despite a mandatory evacuation ordered Tuesday, emergency officials in New Bern reported that about 150 people were waiting to be rescued, and two Federal Emergency Management Agency teams were in the area, the News & Observer of Raleigh, NC, reported.

Corps staff worked with Army officials to review dams at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Jackson in SC to "ensure any effects of Florence on those dams are mitigated", said Ray Alexander, the Corps' inter-agency services chief. Officials said at least 150 people were "awaiting rescue" early Friday morning as the unsafe.

In addition to the power outages, authorities were working with federal responders to rescue at least 150 residents who reported themselves stranded in Florence's storm surge.

Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plan to close even if power was lost, and there were lines to get in on Thursday evening. An additional 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.

Florence is moving toward land at 9 kilometers per hour (6 mph), giving it more time to churn, suck up water, batter the coast, and bring massive amounts of rain inland.

In the meantime, "treat the inland flooding just as seriously as you would the storm surge", said Clark.

Although the storm is approaching the USA coastline as a Category 2 hurricane after weakening from a Category 4 storm, that doesn't mean the storm will be gentle.


South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from prisons and juvenile detention centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.

As of 11 p.m. ET, Florence was centred about 135 kilometres east-southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to seven km/h.

It has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, but forecasters say Hurricane Florence is still capable of delivering a lethal punch.

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

Abrams says he expects Hurricane Florence to bring 10 to 20 inches of rain in most places and that the Carolinas can expect extensive flooding.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and slow track, it could cause epic damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago.

Trump faced severe criticism for his administration's response to Hurricane Maria past year in Puerto Rico.

Others were at home hoping for the best.

Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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