Race to rescue people stranded in US hurricane

15 September, 2018, 18:01 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Hurricane Florence's onslaught threatens disaster in North Carolina

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to three-quarters of a million homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid.

But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Governor Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

Flooding from Hurricane Florence swept across the coast early on Friday as the massive storm made landfall near Wrightsville, Beach, North Carolina with sustained winds of 150 km/h.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest", said Peggy Perry, who along with three relatives, was trapped early Friday in her New Bern home, according to CNN.

According to New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts, citizen volunteers with their own boats had offered to help the city coordinate rescues.

Whether residents left their homes, sought refuge in a shelter or are hunkering down, the weather service has bad news: After creeping inland, Florence "is expected to slow down even more today and tonight". "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

"And when the tide comes back up around noon, we will be inundated with additional storm surge", she said. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.

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But forecasters say Florence's biggest threat, as with all hurricanes, lies in its water: a storm surge of up to 11 feet and rainfall that will trigger catastrophic flooding.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

National Hurricane Center: Florence about to make landfall in N. Carolina causing life-threatening storm surge.

Hurricane Florence has deluged U.S. coastal regions and left tens of thousands without power - with forecasters stating conditions will only worsen as the huge storm barrels inland. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, he calculated.

Remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia...5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. Parts of buildings ripped apart by the storm flew through the air. Combined with 70 miles per hour wind gusts, the water was strong enough to move the city's "Swiss Bear" statues that nod to the city's Swiss roots. Nationwide, airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

The powerful Atlantic storm began battering the Carolinas with rain, wind and floodwater.

"People who live in New Bern have experienced hurricanes before, but it has been a long time since we have experienced something like this", Outlaw said.

"If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

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