Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center but authorities warned the danger was far from over predicting that “life-threatening storm surges and strong winds” would persist through the night. Ph Hurricane Florence: Reporter Struggles To Stand As People Walk By Calmly In Viral Clip
Kenny Thornton | 15 September, 2018, 20:18

Tropical storm Florence caused "catastrophic" flooding in the Carolinas Saturday even as it began to weaken, after resulting in multiple deaths, including a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house.

Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping torrents of rain in the Carolinas, where five people have died.

The father was injured in the incident and was transported to a hospital, officials said. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15am (local time) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150kph, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Cooper said in a statement. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet.

Florence already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds, and the threat is days from ending as remnants of the once major hurricane slowly creep inland across the Carolinas. Duke Energy expects between 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses to lose power.

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland", forecasters said, reports CBS News. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man perished when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

More than 300 volunteers from nine U.S. states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News.

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Winds bent trees towards the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence moved in for an extended stay, with enough of its killer winds swirling overseas to maintain its power.

Radar loop of Florence over the last 24 hours. The figure for SC was 170,000.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at weather.us, said the storm will dump approximately 10 trillion gallons of water on North Carolina, about a quarter of the annual total. North of the landfall, another 150 people near the town of New Bern required rescue from floods along the Neuse River.

President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for North Carolina on Saturday, freeing up federal funding for affected areas.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday. Many locations in southeast North Carolina are likely smash this old record by the time the rain ends. It's the most powerful storm of 2018 so far.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

Florence will continue to move very slowly to the southwest on Saturday, which in turn will drag the axis of heavy rain bands to the southwest as well.

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