Putting the enormity of Hurricane Florence into perspective

14 September, 2018, 12:55 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • More than 150,000 already without power in NC before Florence makes landfall

A siege of hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge is hammering the Carolina coast as Florence is expected to soon make landfall in North Carolina, causing a life-threatening storm surge.

The News & Observer reports that the storm's path shifted early Wednesday and it is now bearing down on southern North Carolina and northern SC, where it could dump up to 40 inches of rain in places.

The company said as many as three-fourths of its 4 million customers in North Carolina and SC could lose power. Waves off the shore of North Carolina have already gotten as high as 13 feet, he saYS.

Florence's top winds were clocked on Thursday evening at 90 miles per hour (150 km/h) as it churned in the Atlantic Ocean, down from a peak of 140 miles per hour (224 km/h) earlier this week when it was classified a Category 4 storm.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

The mayor of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland.

Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland have declared a state of emergency as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain on the area.

"Sometimes these systems, they expand", she said.

Tens of thousands are without power in North Carolina.

Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to.


North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people: "Today the threat becomes a reality". "I've got four cats inside the house".

In Myrtle Beach, ABC correspondent Pete Combs painted a starker picture of those who made a decision to stay in place.

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon.

A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded the street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in River Bend, North Carolina.

In was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo pummeled the Carolinas, causing tremendous destruction - killing 21 people in the USA and 29 in the Caribbean and leaving behind an estimated US$8 billion in damage.

FEMA and the National Weather Service also urged residents along the coast to evacuate.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the U.S. capital Washington.

Despite pleas from state and local officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.

"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", he said.

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