Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas

15 September, 2018, 07:18 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Alexander Gerst  European Space Agency

Hurricane Florence wasn't expected to make landfall until later Friday morning, but residents in coastal areas were already losing power as fierce gusts lashed the eastern edge of North Carolina.

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

More than 722,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.

Florence has barreled into the Carolina coast and moved inland, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the deaths of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident. "If God's coming for you, you can't run from him". "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

Donald Trump was to visit hurricane-hit zones "early to the middle of next week", the White House said, "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts".


Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

Meanwhile more than 630,000 homes and businesses were left without power by Friday afternoon. We will have tropical storm force winds and rain and storm surge continues to be our main concern with extreme flooding.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. Traffic lights out of order because of power failures swayed in the gusty wind.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped about 200 people.

More than 430,000 people in North and SC are without power, and water is rising along the coast, where people in some towns have experienced dramatic rescues due to the towering storm surge.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 36 trillion litres, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 25 centimetres.

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