Five dead as Hurricane Florence downgraded to tropical storm

Angelo Anderson
September 15, 2018

A fallen tree lies atop the crushed roof of a fast food restaurant after the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 68 trillion litres of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland. Forecasters are predicting that the Lumber and Cape Fear rivers will crest significantly higher than after Hurricane Matthew, and in some areas, Florence will bring 1,000-year rainfall totals, according to the governor. Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 25 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

North Carolina has been issued with flash flood emergencies, with relief from storm conditions not looking likely until early next week.

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE has approved a disaster declaration for North Carolina as the state deals with Tropical Storm Florence, the White House announced Saturday.

Before dawn on Friday, authorities had been forced to rescue more than 60 people in Wilmington, some who had ignored evacuation orders.

A North Carolina city situated between two rivers says it has around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence.

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued. Roberts said numerous residents live near the Neuse and Trent rivers.


Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2:30 a.m.

Climate scientist Michael Mann said that Florence is "a climatologically-amplified triple threat".

By Friday evening, the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Officials in South Carolina's Craven County say conditions are much worse than some residents expected, with almost 500 people calling the local emergency services hotline asking for help.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

It's hard to believe while looking at these images, but this isn't even the biggest storm devastating the planet right now.

Tropical Storm Florence, downgraded from a hurricane Friday, remains over the Grand Strand Saturday with the National Weather Service warning of potential flash flooding and storm surge.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall. Some residents were anxious less about flooding and more about an extensive period without power.

Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.

Flooding and a strong storm surge prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, spokeswoman Amber Parker said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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