Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Florence expected to bring 'catastrophic' flooding to Carolinas

A North Myrtle Beach Police officer warns a beachgoer about the dangers of remaining on the beach as Hurricane Florence moves closer and conditions worsen in North Myrtle Beach South Carolina Hurricane Florence likely to affect southeast US energy infrastructure: EIA - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Kristen Harrington | 16 September, 2018, 13:35

North Carolinians made last-minute preparations and hunkered down to await Florence's arrival.

A surge is likely along portions of the SC coast.

The "threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days" in the impacted areas.

Over 770,000 were without power in North Carolina Friday night.

Florence is about 60 miles (95 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Along North Carolina's Pamlico River, the area is bracing for storm surge of up to 13 feet, and all low-lying and flood-prone areas are under mandatory evacuation orders. The huge storm weakened to a Category 2 hurricane overnight, but forecasters warned that it still packed a unsafe punch, 110 mile-an-hour (175 kph) winds and torrential rains. A few hearty locals gathered at Cape Fear Wine and Beer pub in downtown Wilmington.

Federal emergency management officials warned that Florence - while weakening slightly - remains a "very risky storm" capable of wreaking havoc along a wide swathe of the coast. Some roads were already impassable in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Tropical Storm Florence trudged inland on Saturday, flooding rivers and towns, toppling trees and cutting power to almost a million homes and businesses as it dumped huge amounts of rain on North and SC, where five people have died.

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The forecasters say the slow speed will give Florence time to pound the Carolinas with bands of heavy rain.

"There is going to be a lot of rain. Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said.

Emergency Management services in North Carolina are reporting that 497,255 customers are without power in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence makes landfall.

In Shallotte, N.C., a coastal town near the border with SC, emergency orders forced a Waffle House to shut down - an act that was widely seen as a sign of respect for Florence's imposing size and strength. The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding.

Mayor Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN traffic out of the SC city has more than quadrupled as residents and visitors evacuate.

Both North Carolina and SC are updating their lists of emergency shelters for people caught out by the storm. Georgia, where governor Nathan Deal has now declared an emergency, is also thought to be in the firing line.

Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.

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

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The Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall in North Carolina Thursday and may be the costliest hurricane in US history. DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs, ' he added.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

As has been the case with hurricanes in most recent years, such as Lane in Hawaii earlier this summer and Harvey last year in Texas, feet of rain can fall when these tropical storms stall. "Work will begin when conditions safely allow", the company said on its website on Saturday. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

Rain could persist in the area through Tuesday afternoon. Montgomery said calling the number a couple of times will not make a difference.

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

Officials had warned before the storm that the rains could risk tainting waterways with murky coal ash and toxic hog waste.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence's expected track and impacts to the U.S.

Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch.

By 5 p.m. on Thursday, the Governor and other officials delivered their final briefing before the eye of the storm was set to strike.

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Joyce, which is about 1,040 miles from the Azores, is moving south-southwest near 7 mph.

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