Friday, 21 September, 2018

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren of Savannah Ga. crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 on the south beach of Tybee Island Ga. Vanotteren and his friend Bailey Gaddis said the waves have gotten bigger and better every eve Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at Southeast - Story | WFLD
Kristen Harrington | 14 September, 2018, 14:57

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most risky place to be as Florence moved ashore.

"This is an absolute life-threatening scenario".

The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

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.

Storm swell is predicted to reach almost 4 metres in height near the coastal cities of Wilmington and Jacksonville, absolutely devastating structures in the region.

Even when the water is at six feet and over her head, Navarro says that she would not be able to stand and that there are likely dangers such as chemicals or exposed power lines in the water.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

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Bransfield also was accused during a 2012 trial of another priest of molesting a boy in the Philadelphia Archdiocese in the 1970s. Pope Francis has launched an investigation into alleged financial irregularities involving the 550-year-old Sistine Chapel Choir.

The Charleston area will see winds near tropical storm strength of 40 miles per hour and somewhere between 3 to 6 inches of rain.

But the storm still carried "very risky winds", the Center added. Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey.

"It will be historic", Baker said of the rain from Florence.

"Just because you're not on the coast doesn't mean you won't get some big impact", Graham said.

"It doesn't matter where you are", he said.

Florence is expected to strike North Carolina's coast on Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday, according to Miami's National Hurricane Center (NHC). Cooper said he hopes more shelters will also open today.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here but these are early warnings of the days to come", he said.

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What started as a Category 4 hurricane is now Category 1 as of Thursday night, but the National Hurricane Center continues to urge people to be wary of the severe weather that is pummeling the area. "Significant river flooding is expected as a result of excessive rainfall across area hydrologic basins".

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.

"This is an extremely risky and life-threatening situation".

US airlines also waived change fees and other charges for passengers on flights in and near the Carolinas and on some Caribbean routes as Isaac grows stronger.

Holly Waters, 54, a retired special education teacher from Wilmington, said she was happy to have a place to go to relax before the storm worsened. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

Spokeswoman Diane Villa said some of the larger animals - including bison and elk - will be put in fenced-in yards instead of barns because they do not like being in fully enclosed spaces.

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