Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds
Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds
People have been ordered to evacuate
15 September, 2018, 17:58
Fierce winds and massive waves are expected to lash the coasts of North and SC and Virginia even before Florence makes landfall by early Friday, bringing a storm surge as much as 13 feet (4 meters).
The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.
Florence had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour) and was on a trajectory that showed its center most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
He warned residents to make preparations and heed evacuation orders, warning that electrical service could be lost for several days.
"I'm not approaching Florence from fear or panic", said Brad Corpening, 35, who planned to ride out the storm in his boarded-up delicatessen in Wilmington.
The U.S. Coast Guard closed ports in Wilmington and Morehead City in North Carolina and Hampton Roads, Virginia, to inbound vessels greater than 500 tons and was requiring vessels of that size to leave if they did not have permission to be in the ports.
As the hurricane center says, "Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday".
More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse.
In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.
U.S. emergency officials have warned "time is running out" for people to escape from Hurricane Florence as outer bands of wind and rain began lashing North Carolina. Florence is a powerful category 4 hurricane and is expected to gain even more strength later in the day.
Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.
Florence is the most unsafe of three tropical systems in the Atlantic.
People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.
The shift south and west will encompass more of SC and western North Carolina.
The NHC said Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land.
"I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas", he said. "I'm a little bit scared right now", she said, "but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".
Its surge of ocean water could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 13 feet, and days of downpours could unload more than three feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.
President Donald Trump both touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way.
Forecasters anxious the storm's damage will be all the worse if it lingers on the coast.
"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.
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The hurricane is expected to dump heavy rain throughout the region and FEMA officials said it's not just a coastal problem. Downpours and flooding would be especially severe, lasting for days, if the storm stalls over land.
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