Saturday, 17 November, 2018

"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US

Sandra Phillips | 14 September, 2018, 12:54

There are fears tonight that Hurricane Florence which is now close to the US East Coast could result in deaths and catastrophic flooding.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale on Thursday evening and was located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Morehead City, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h).

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland. Waves off the shore of North Carolina have already gotten as high as 13 feet, he saYS.

Florence's winds had dropped from a peak of 225km/h to 169km/h by Thursday, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

Her neighbors gave her the key to their house, which is two stories and might be safer from flooding, she said.

Winds were already picking up along the coastline early Thursday and some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks, barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, and in some seaside coastal towns.

The massive cyclone was expected to make landfall on the North Carolina coast Friday, bringing "life-threatening" storm surge and flash flooding while slowly drifting over SC through Saturday.

The massive storm will impact millions as it charges toward the southeastern USA, and is expected to bring with it massive amounts of rain, unsafe flooding and powerful storm surges.

A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land.

"We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.

Fears as Hurricane Florence nears USA coast
More flights were expected to be grounded and more airports were preparing to shut down operations as the storm moves inland. Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.

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"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face".

General O'Shaughnessy said there were about 7,000 USA military personnel now in place and ready to respond to the storm, along with ships, helicopters, high-wheeled vehicles and other equipment.

Hurricane Florence is coming.

North Carolina has had this problem before.

About 10 million people live in the path of the slow-moving storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.

More than 1 million people have been ordered to evacuate - but the window to do so in nearly over.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

"He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

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