Hurricane Florence's onslaught threatens disaster in North Carolina

Mindy Sparks
September 14, 2018

Coastal streets flowed with frothy ocean water and tens of thousands lost electricity.

One forecast from weather-tracking website Weathermodels.com predicts that over the next week, the Carolinas could see as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain.

The outer bands of scattered rain reached the Triangle early Thursday afternoon, but the center of Hurricane Florence was still 100 miles off shore, southeast of Wilmington, at 5 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

The briefing said Florence "is a large hurricane" with hurricane-force winds extending 80 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds extending 195 miles from the eye of the storm.

Those winds will die down quickly as Florence moves over land, but the rain will persist.

"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.

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.

The storm was moving west-northwest at 10 miles per hour with winds that have decreased significantly to 100 miles per hour. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the NHC said.

WXII-TV reported that 150 people were waiting to be rescued from rising waters in the city New Bern.

According to the BBC, floodwaters may ride up to 13ft (4 metres) and Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, Brock Long, explained: "So this is a very risky storm".


North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, 'The time to prepare is nearly over.

About 400 Virginians are in shelters, Stern estimated.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday urged residents to remain alert despite changing forecasts.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but its unclear how many did.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Already Thursday, streets were transformed into raging streams and massive waves surged along the Outer Banks.

Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse.

Hurricane Florence has begun battering it's way through the North Carolina coastline with heavy rain and high winds in what people fear could lead to the deaths of "a lot of people".

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 225km/h to 169km/h by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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