'Uninvited brute': Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas

Lester Mason
September 16, 2018

Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.

It is now a tropical storm with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), but a gust of 112 miles per hour (180 kph) was reported just offshore.

At 5 a.m. Sunday, Florence was about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

As of Saturday night, at least 11 deaths had been linked to the storm.

With the eye of Florence stalled near the coast, the half of the storm still out over the Atlantic continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses. But even before the storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, experts were warning that low-income neighborhoods were already poised to bear the brunt of its ruination.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.

Flooding has made things hard in Hurricane Florence's aftermath.

Florence will then turn back towards the eastern US coast, making its way to Pennsylvania by 2 a.m. ET Tuesday.

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

View of Florence in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday.


Almost three feet of rain has fallen on portions of North Carolina, a reported record for the state for rainfall from a single storm.

Governor Cooper advised North Carolina residents inland that rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped.

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

Coast Guard helicopters took off across the street to rescue stranded people from rooftops and swamped cars.

And they say people who are truly in an emergency should call 911, not just Tweet about it.

Taylor said the storm already dumped 30 inches of rain on some parts of the N.C.

Wildlife also found itself directly affected by Florence's floodwaters, including these deer seen swimming through neck-deep water.

And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina. The crews tried to move the debris with a front loader, but a tree went through the windshield, causing further delays, the officials said.

If Florence doesn't wipe out oceanfront homes on stilts along the Carolinas coast, rising sea levels will. Florence lashed low-lying barrier islands that experience some of the fastest rates of sea level rise observed anywhere in the world, almost an inch (2.5 centimeters) a year. The National Weather Service said the floods likely will last for weeks.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

"The flood danger from storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hrs ago", North Carolina Emergency Management said on Twitter. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters. "We're trying to educate and protect Floridians so they don't fall victim to Irma for a second time". "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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