Hurricane Florence brings flooding and blackouts

Mindy Sparks
September 15, 2018

This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and is moving slowly, at 6 miles per hour.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people: "Today the threat becomes a reality". About 4,300 homes were damaged, she said, affecting a third of the small town's population.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 280 kilometres from its center.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

A man electrocuted while plugging in a generator during a heavy rain and another knocked down by wind were among the other casualties reported from the monster storm lashing the Southeast.

"It went from zero to 100 real quick", he said.

The No. 1 mission right now, Cooper said, is to save lives.

There are about 150 people waiting to be rescued.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said.

According to CNN meteorologists, as of early Friday morning, New Bern had already seen more than 10 feet of storm surge and more than 7 inches of rainfall.

Forecasters say the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

Clyde Cain, the Admiral of the Louisiana Cajun Navy, told WWL that local first responders would handle all calls for rescue and evacuation. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared". And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", a tweet from the city overnight said. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

New Bern, the city where Pepsi was invented in a drugstore, was still experiencing winds in the 70 miles per hour range Friday afternoon.

The Cape Fear river crested at 8.27 feet about 3:30 p.m., setting a new record and by Wednesday, the Maccamaw River may climb to 17.1 feet, the National Weather Service's Wilmington office reported, just shy of its record.

The hurricane came ashore early Friday, pounding the state with torrential rain and high winds. It will likely weaken more on Friday, with "rapid weakening forecast over the weekend", the hurricane center said.

"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence.

The barrier island of Emerald Isle is under water, with ocean waves rolling in over a six-foot storm surge and crashing into homes.

After creeping inland, Florence is expected to head west before looping up toward Tennessee and Kentucky early next week.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, the storm won't even be halfway across SC, forecasters say.

"The worst of the storm is over", Wright tells TIME. That advisory came out on August 30, when Florence was developing near the Cabo Verde Islands across the Atlantic.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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