Watch as Storm Makes Landfall in North Carolina

17 September, 2018, 11:43 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was moving west at only 6 mph

Tens of thousands of homes are without power and sea water is sloshing through coastal streets as Hurricane Florence begins lashing the US East Coast.

The storm has claimed at least five lives, two of them in Wilmington, NC. "Houses. Trees", Holt said. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries". When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.

Many people with limited means like the disabled Howells will struggle to escape Florence, or build back when its damage is done.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat. More than 360 people have been carried to safety since Thursday night amid rising waters from a river swelled by both rain and salty storm surge. An investigation is underway, but officials said it appears there's no reason for others at the shelter to worry.

New Bern, the city on the North Carolina coast where the Neuse River and Trent River intersect, was reeling Friday after being inundated from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence.

One hundred and fifty people in New Bern, North Carolina, are also trapped and awaiting government assistance.

The storm has sustained wind speeds of 90 miles per hour, and 40 inches of rain could fall over the next few days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Storm Helene to batter NI as severe weather warning is issued
The National Hurricane Center is predicting the storm will produce "catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding". The enormous waves were recorded in the northeast quadrant of the hurricane, which is the strongest area of the storm.

The eye of Florence directly struck Wrightsville Beach, NC, early Friday. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions. One gust of 105 miles per hour was recored early Friday morning at the Wilmington global airport.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3 1/2 feet (30 centimetres to 1 metre) as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

In Belhaven, the Pungo River roared into town, crashing up against homes at a waist-high level and higher late Thursday and early Friday, video from Amy Johnson showed.

Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks. She said that count is expected to increase significantly. The storm is expected to lumber into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday, punishing the area with rain and damaging winds.

At least 25 million residents on the East Coast are at risk from the hurricane, which is expected to deliver a "direct hit" this week, bringing 157 miles per hour winds, devastating flooding and even the threat of a tainted water supply.

"And we're not done yet", Graham said, adding that some hard-hit areas could get an additional 15 to 20 inches because the storm was moving so slowly.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain. "Everybody laughs at the fact that this storm got downgraded ... but I've never seen tree devastation this bad. Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said Thursday. Some areas of SC could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Hurricane Florence
AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains. Usually storms come to the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic from the south - and those usually curve safely out to sea.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

Duke Energy Corp, the area's biggest utility with more than 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages.

McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland declared states of emergency.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. "Our greatest concern about this storm remains the same - storm surge and massive flooding", he said. Storm surge search and rescue operations have been underway across the county.

In the town of Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest Friday morning found their path blocked by downed trees. It's moving westward across the eastern Caribbean, where it's expected to bring up to 5 inches of rain across Puerto Rico. The center was about 20 miles north-northeast of Myrtle Beach.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. It's forecast to turn northeastward and accelerate in that direction over the weekend. Further development of that system is no longer anticipated, the NHC said.

Hurricane Florence's Path Remains Uncertain As Storm Closes In On Carolinas
Because the storm was so strong earlier in the week, it built up a wall of water which will push inland as the storm surge. More than 1.7 million people were warned to evacuate and get out of the way of the "life-threatening" storm's path.

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