Florence plows inland, leaving five dead, states flooded

15 September, 2018, 12:30 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Australian ambulance         Source

North Carolina Emergency Management warned residents on Friday to stay indoors, avoid stagnant or moving flood waters and have their emergency kits ready.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity. The storm made landfall Friday at 7:15 a.m. ET just south of Wrightsville Beach - about 6.5 miles due east for Wilmington, North Carolina.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 30 centimetres to 1 metre as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

President Donald Trump is planning to visit areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week, though his exact plans are not yet finalized.

The town of Oriental, North Carolina, got more than 18 inches of rain in just a few hours, while Surf City had 14 inches.

"The amount of water that comes out of hurricanes is certainly the most robust connection that we have", National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist Jim Kossin said.

More than 770,000 customers are without power in North Carolina.

"We would recommend that people hold on to nonperishable items to be prepared for the next emergency, which could happen at any time of year", said James City County spokeswoman Renee Dallman.


As 645-kilometre-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, while many of their neighbours awaited help.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted.

The storm caused chaos in the region, with trees strewn across roads, buildings battered and power cut to nearly 700,000 homes.

The outer bands of wind and rain caused by the storm were already lashing North Carolina on Thursday morning. As the storm moves into hilly terrain, it's also expected to unleash catastrophic and potentially deadly flash flooding and possibly mud slides, the hurricane center warned.

Five million people are at risk with warnings of possible landslides and flooding. "We are not going to make it, '" Cherry said.

North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said. It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", he said.

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