Florence kills 5, including infant, in North Carolina, officials say

Pauline Gross
September 15, 2018

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's winds have slowed to tropical storm strength, and said the storm is moving slowly inland with sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and higher gusts.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and into the northeastern coast of SC in spots.

Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.

Airlines have extended waivers and advisories for travelers with itineraries involving airports in the predicted path of the storm.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out as the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble.

But storms can come at any time as hurricane season lasts throughout October, Iyer said, and meteorologists can't accurately forecast where a storm will hit until about two to three days out.

According to forecasters, the center of Florence is expected to hit North Carolina's southern coast Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday.

But it's not only North Carolinians who live along the coast who are being impacted by severe flooding.

"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", Parker said.

"A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, N.C., recently recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels", the National Hurricane Center said of the storm surge early Friday.

As Florence pounded away, it unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than a half-million homes and businesses.

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The National Hurricane Center said Florence is expected to be re-categorised as a tropical depression by the time it moves into the mid-Atlantic states and New England in the middle of next week.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Rain is forecast to continue through the weekend, bringing risky flooding conditions to many areas of North Carolina.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

The American government is ready to deal with the aftermath of the hurricane but people should get out of the way, Trump said. Many state museums and other attractions are also closed. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared". Craven County officials said they responded to 200 calls for help.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

Storm surges of up to six feet were forecast for Belhaven, North Carolina, where this video was recorded on the night of September 13.

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

"Our house is on high ground so we're not anxious about the flooding", he said.

Other reports by GizPress

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