Florence makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC
Florence makes landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC
Carolina coast braces for 'Mike Tyson punch' from hurricane
14 September, 2018, 15:04
More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
Keith Beavers, a farmer in Duplin County, North Carolina, was rushing on Thursday to harvest as much corn as he could ahead of the storm. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.
At 11:00 am (1600 GMT), the eye of the storm was about 485 miles (785 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving in a northwest direction at 15 mph (24 kph).
FEMA has warned that while downgraded, the storm will still generate life threatening storm surge and rainfall in North and SC.
National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear said in a video briefing North Carolina would see the equivalent of up to eight months of rain in a two- to three-day period.
Hurricane Florence's outer edges have started to batter the coast of North Carolina - with winds of 100mph bending trees and shooting frothy seawater onto the streets.
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Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of HurricaneFlorence's landfall later this week.
The downgraded status of the storm, which indicates that Hurricane Florence is moving at maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 miles per hour, means little in terms of its impact and deadly potential, according to Elliot Abrams, chief forecaster at Accuweather.
According to the NHC's forecast discussion at 12 p.m. on September 13: "The subtropical ridge to the northeast and east of Florence is now well-established between Bermuda and the US mid-Atlantic region and extends westward into Virginia and the central Appalachians".
"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.
Ken Graham, NHC director, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as two miles.
It is forecast to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday Friday.
'Life-threatening' Hurricane Florence lashing Carolinas
Despite its unpredictable path, it was forecast to make landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina, at midday on Friday . At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.
"We're still going to get catastrophic inland flooding from heavy rains and multibillion-dollar storm-surge damage along the coast where it hits, " said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Despite pleas from officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate. "All across the state of North Carolina and portions of SC, there will be extreme flooding or major flooding at least for a number of days to come". Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoring it could take weeks.
Georgia, where governor Nathan Deal has now declared an emergency, is also thought to be in the firing line.
Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.
Will Epperson, 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but changed their minds due to its ferocity. "I'm not leaving him here".
"The vast majority of the time the horses know what to do, and they are able to get to higher ground or protect themselves", said Gillikin. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".
Utility officials have warned that widespread power outages are likely and that it could take weeks to restore electricity. The first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) were forecast to hit the coast on Thursday.
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More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.
The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain. 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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USA coast battered by wind, rain as Hurricane Florence closes in
Almost 2,900 people are out of power in the Wampee and S.C. 9 area west of Little River, according to Horry Electric's website . Ken Graham, director of the hurricane center, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 3 kilometers (2 miles).
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