Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

S Hurricane Florence lashes the Carolinas S Hurricane Florence lashes the Carolinas
Lora Ball | 15 September, 2018, 19:11

Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to dump unsafe amounts of rain as it continues its slow slog across the Carolinas.

Florence maximum sustained winds are now down to 45 miles per hour.

"Florence slowly weakening just inland over eastern SC but causing catastrophic flooding over North and SC", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Saturday morning, after downgrading it from a hurricane to a tropical storm the previous day. Some areas could exceed 30 to 40 inches of rain from the storm.

Hurricane Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

Most of the rivers in northeast SC and eastern North Carolina are experiencing moderate to major flooding and, in some cases, many continue rising well into next week as floodwaters from the interior flow downstream.

It is not know if the dolphins came into shore to find shelter from the storm or if they were dragged in the the high winds.

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) but authorities warned the danger was far from over, predicting that "life-threatening storm surges and strong winds" would persist through the night. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel.

Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads. Duke Energy expects between 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses to lose power.

Police in Wilmington say a mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their house.

A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

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Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said.

One resident, restaurant owner Tom Ballance, told the Associated Press he now thinks he should have evacuated.

Others who chose to stay at home perhaps regretted their decision.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 950,000 customers in that state and SC.

Parts of the Carolinas will see more than 15 inches of additional rain in the next couple of days. The storm is some 645 kilometres wide. In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina into southwest Virginia.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches. 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.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was, ” he said. “This is a 500- or 1,000-year event. ”Eudy´s family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard".

Eventually a citizen rescue crew came with a boat.

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