Hurricane Florence causes 'catastrophic' flooding after hitting U.S. coast

15 September, 2018, 14:06 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Hillsborough Fire Rescue Trainer Prudy Vallejo loads

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", Byard said, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life. "Everybody laughs at the fact that this storm got downgraded. but I've never seen tree devastation this bad."Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighborhood and making sure my neighbors are fine, because nobody can get in here".

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and will make its "violent grind across our state for days", calling the storm an event that comes along only once every 1,000 years.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, but stronger wind gusts have been reported.

Port of Wilmington, North Carolina, extended operating hours for trains and trucks to clear cargo containers from the complex. Duke anticipates 1 million to 3 million of their 4 million customers in the Carolinas will lose power from Florence.

The hurricane is expected to weaken into a tropical depression as it continues westward into SC and Georgia. A slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected today through Saturday, Sept. 15. "There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm".

"A lot of our storefronts are boarded up", said Lynn Davis, town manager for Belhaven which sits at sea level in northeastern North Carolina.

Thus far, 1.7 million people have been required to leave their homes in the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and millions of homes have been put under official watch or warnings for extreme weather conditions.

State Transportation Department Secretary Christy Hall said Thursday that an estimated 421,000 residents had left the coast.

Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people - now including some in Georgia - in more ways with a giant dose of uncertainty on top.

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More than 1 million people along the coasts of North and SC and southern Virginia have fled.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter on Friday night that Morehead City had received 23.04 inches of rain with more heavy rain coming. That same area experienced risky flooding after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. Those pipelines carry fuel from the Gulf Coast to much of the eastern United States. He warned residents to be prepared to be without electricity "for a long time" in the storm's aftermath.

Waves slam the Oceana Pier & Pier House Restaurant in Atlantic Beach, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 as Hurricane Florence approaches the area.

A few locals briefly walked into the sand but were quickly sandblasted back by stiff winds.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Northam spoke at a news conference Thursday with emergency management officials.

Although the forecast for Virginia is less severe than earlier in the week, Northam says "now is not the time to let down our guard". The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

"It's a very risky storm", Federal Emergency Management Authority administrator Jeff Byard said.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesA volunteer worker rescues a child and her family during Hurricane Florence.

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