Hurricane Florence Approach Swamps North And South Carolina

Sep 16, 2018, 19:00
Hurricane Florence Approach Swamps North And South Carolina

A surge is likely along portions of the SC coast.

"We expect the eye of Hurricane Florence to reach the coast near Wilmington, North Carolina, early Friday morning", according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. The storm's forward speed had slowed to 6 miles per hour, and forecasters were concerned it might have stalled.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, Florence was about 15 miles west-northwest of Myrtle Beach, SC, moving west-southwest at 5 mph, packing maximum-sustained winds of 65 mph. Storm surges aren't walls of water, like a tsunami, as commonly thought.

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.

Traffic patterns indicate that many people are leaving the Carolinas, however.

Gov. Roy Cooper urged state residents to stay on guard despite Florence's projected southwestern storm track.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.

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In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"We've got a lot of resources, but we don't want to put them out there where they could be injured or maybe worse", Sprayberry said ahead of the storm. "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said Thursday.

By mid-afternoon the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the centre was moving west at 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 metre).

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

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina. A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the USA capital Washington.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that protecting lives is his "absolute highest priority".

By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds weakening to 70 miles per hour as it pushed inland.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

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Florence is now moving to the northwest at 17 km per hour.

Total inundation is likely in portions of eastern and southeastern North Carolina and perhaps the upper part of the SC coast with a storm surge in excess of 10 feet in some areas.

Three other tropical systems, Isaac, Helene and Joyce, are churning in the Atlantic Ocean with the potential for another system to develop in the Gulf of Mexico into Friday.

The East Coast isn't the only area facing the brunt of a storm.

A few yards down the hallway, huddled in blankets, Tony Winborne echoed her concern about those who made a decision to leave the shelter.

The storm has a raincloud band that's 900 kilometers wide - and it's coming alongside monsoon rains, creating risks for flash floods and landslides.

The utility said more than 20,000 workers were ready to restore power - its largest mobilization in history.

Tropical Storm Isaac is also moving westward across the eastern Caribbean.

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Cyclone: A large-scale atmospheric storm that rotates counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.