Hurricane Florence: 150,000 lose power as storm pummels Carolinas

Cesar Mills
September 15, 2018

The driving winds and pelting rain of Hurricane Florence's western edge began to batter the Carolinas Thursday evening, giving the region a taste of what's to come as the monster storm moves ashore Friday. A tattered American flag seen flying on a live surf camera at Frying Pan Tower in North Carolina is evidence of the strong wind gusts pounding the coast.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the centre of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, warning people not to be complacent just because the storm's winds had diminished.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) says storm surges could bring catastrophic flooding to inland areas.

Cooper says officials are also in the process of opening more shelters because demand is expected to continue to increase.

The hurricane center is forecasting the storm to hover near the coast on Saturday with winds of around 130 kph before landfall, but with rainfall ranging from 50 to 75 centimeters and up to 4 meters of storm surge. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 90 centimetres of rain, touching off severe flooding.

As Hurricane Florence begins to hammer the Carolinas, a few fliers managed to escape the storms path, arriving at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Thursday just before the hurricane is predicted to made landfall.

The National Weather Service is forecasting "significant" river flooding, especially in the northeastern portion of the state.

Much of the Carolinas coast has been under a daylong tornado watch.

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts
Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday. The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence crawling toward the Carolinas, coastal water levels rising
On Friday, the storm's center will hug the coast of southeast North Carolina, where the most severe effects are expected. By 5 a.m. today, the storm was about 205 miles east/southeast of Wilmington, N.C. with 110-mph maximum sustained winds .

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It's unclear exactly how many people fled ahead of the storm, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

When a college football game was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, one of the team's chose to make the best out of the situation.

Authorities in New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people that dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people had to be rescued from floods.

While the strength of Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 by meteorologists overnight, House warned that the power of the storm could still have a big impact on Wrightsville Beach.

"I built this house myself, so I'm not anxious at all, I know it's solid", he said.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

He said there are about 7,000 USA military forces now ready to respond to the storm - along with ships, helicopters and high-wheeled vehicles. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

Other reports by GizPress

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