Friday, 21 September, 2018

Death toll from Florence rises to 7, North Carolina officials say

Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video Carolina Residents Who Refused to Evacuate Calling for Help
Guillermo Jimenez | 15 September, 2018, 21:53

As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

NEW BERN, N.C. -Florence continued to drench the Carolinas Saturday as it lumbered across the region, claiming at least five lives and stranding hundreds of people in floodwaters. The storms slow and parallel movement to the coastline created several bands of heavy rain, capable of producing 2 to 4 inches of rain per hour, sitting over the same locations for essentially the last day and a half.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 kph) over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

The storm's powerful surges, winds and rain turned some towns into rushing rivers.

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A day after Florence blew ashore in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour winds, more than 2 feet of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 1 1/2 feet by the end of the weekend.

Parts of the Carolinas are expected to see 20 to 30 inches of rain over the next seven days.

Today Florence is forecast to slowly creep farther inland along the Carolinas.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Traffic lights out of order because of power failures swayed in the gusty wind.

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Florence now huge, slow-moving tropical storm.

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles. Cooper cited a National Weather Service forecast that said almost the entire state could be covered in several feet of water.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out.

Those who stayed behind provided harrowing accounts of getting trapped in homes surrounded by water.

"Second, know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood. Nothing's hit the house yet, but it's still blowing".

NEW BERN OVERWHELMEDIn New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge "overwhelmed" the town, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said. New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer about 200 people already had been rescued by 5 a.m. The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.

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Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

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