Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas

‘Catastrophic’ flooding expected by NHC; Hurricane Florence eyewall now reaching North Carolina coast Hurricane Center: Florence close to landfall in N. Carolina
Patty Aguilar | 15 September, 2018, 16:34

As of the 10 pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is a tropical storm with sustained winds near 65 miles per hour.

The centre of Tropical Storm Florence has moved into SC, and both it and North Carolina continue to face powerful winds and catastrophic flooding.

"A life-threatening storm surge is already occurring along portions of the North Carolina coast and will continue through today and tonight", the NHC said in an alert posted at 5:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 14.

Hurricane Florence is now hammering the East Coast of the United States, hitting the states of North and SC.

Another woman who was rescued by another group in New Bern told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360˚" that she and her family thought they would be safe in their brick home and heard the storm had been downgraded from a Category 4.

Heavy rainfall could leave nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, it's feared.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

Waves almost 30ft high were record off the carolina coast as Florence churned toward shore.

As of Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and is now soaking the North Carolina coast.

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

"It's not going to take much in a lot of these areas to saturate the soil, so trees are going to come down really easily" and knock down power lines, said Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

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More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. A gust of 105 miles per hour (169 km/h) was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

After hitting the North Carolina coast, the hurricane will cut down into SC before sweeping into western North Carolina and north from there.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses. The system is likely to weaken and strike as a Category 1 Hurricane as the winds have also weakened in strength a little as has been reported by the National Hurricane Center.

The threat comes as a video has been released from The Weather Channel in the United States of the potential for the potentially destructive storm surge to soar about 2.7m tall. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles (135 kilometres) north of Wilmington.

After landfall, Florence slowed to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along the Carolinas' coast - punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind.

The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

More than 60 people were trapped in a collapsing hotel in North Carolina.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

None of the people rescued were injured.

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