Hurricane Florence to hit North Carolina, flooding rains ahead
15 September, 2018, 10:26 | Author: Tara Reeves
"You can never predict what a hurricane is going to do but I'm just not going to run away from this".
The monster storm felled trees all around Wilmington, causing many more close calls and damaging homes and cars. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, water flowed through streets and between beachfront homes, and some of the few people still left in Nags Head took photos of angry waves topped with white froth.
As the storm moves inland, forecasters warned, the surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.
SC officials say more than 400,000 people have evacuated the state's coast and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters as Hurricane Florence approaches.
The hurricane centre is forecasting the storm to hover near the coast Saturday with winds of around 130 km/h before landfall, but with rainfall in the 50 to 75 centimetre range and almost four metres of storm surge.
The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 35 miles (55 kms) from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 170 miles (280 kms) out. The storm was moving very slowly westward at about 6 miles per hour.
"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.
According to Mashable, if Florence hits North Carolina as a Category four storm, it will be the strongest storm to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
"What happens is that we rescue some people and then we find out there are still more who need it", Outlaw said. The core was also about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.
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"You're going to have a hard time finding a North Carolinian who is not going to be affected by this storm in some way", Cooper said.
Cooper said the state was getting forecasts of rivers being higher than they were during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when North Carolina saw significant flooding across the state.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.
Director Tom Collins says the woman in Hampstead had a heart attack Friday morning, but emergency crews could not get to her because of downed trees in the road.
Florence is now packing maximum sustained winds of 100mph (155km/h) and was moving at a slow speed of 5mph and "little change in strength is expected" before the storm reaches the coast. Shortly afterward, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts to 105 miles per hour at Wilmington International Airport, the highest wind gust measured in Wilmington since Hurricane Helene hit the port city in 1958. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.
"The imminent threat of coastal flooding and high winds have passed for our coastal communities as Hurricane Florence has made landfall in the Carolinas and we believe it is safe for Virginians to begin returning home", Northam said in a statement.
The NHC said Florence went ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. EDT with estimated maximum winds of 90 miles per hour.
"Very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and feared splintering trees would pummel her house.
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Transportation will also be impacted, as roads will "likely" be scoured or fail in many places with the possibility of sinkholes. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.
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The National Weather Service says Hurricane Florence "will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast". Florence, however, continues to threaten the east coast as a fierce storm that could trigger flooding as far south as Georgia.
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Hurricane Florence starts flooding parts of the Carolinas
The hardest part to figure out now is where that heavy rain band sets up - probably right over Charlotte or just to the north. Mayewood may be among the best situated for the job. "We've wasted three days of discomfort and displacement", he said.
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