Monday, 19 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence in pictures: ‘1,000 year event’ storm LASHES US east coast

Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video ‘We Are Coming To Get You’ | 150 Residents Stranded In New Bern, North Carolina
Frank Williams | 15 September, 2018, 23:29

Jacob Fernandez (left) and Josh Fernandez play around on the tree that fell near their home as Hurricane Florence passed through the area on Friday in Bolivia, N.C.

Officials in North Myrtle Beach, where some flooding was occurring, did report some delays in their 911 emergency system, according to a news release, but their public safety personnel are still out in the community.

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.

Jon Wright considers himself one of the lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C. - so far. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO IN CITY NAME Leaves, branches and other debris surround and cover a vehicle during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S. September 14, 2018.

As the storm moves inland, forecasters warned, the surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding. "We still have about 100 that want to be rescued and we have about 1,200 in the shelters", Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN.

Florence blew ashore early Friday in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour winds, buckling buildings, deluging entire communities and knocking out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses as it crawled inland and weakened into a still-lethal tropical storm.

As of 8:00 am (1200 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of risky storm surges and "catastrophic flash flooding". It said it was located about 40 miles (65 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march.

Emergency workers went door to door urging people to flee Florence's rising floodwaters Saturday and rescuers used inflatable boats to pluck others from homes already submerged as the storm's epic deluge swelled rivers and creeks across the Carolinas. Federal officials had said midweek they weren't concerned about that facility or five other nuclear plants in the storm's path, calling them "hardened".

"And we're not done yet", Graham said, adding that some hard-hit areas could get an additional 15 to 20 inches because the storm was moving so slowly.

Interested in Hurricane Florence?

The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.

Threatening Hurricane Florence makes landfall in N. Carolina
The video below, taken in Wilmington , North Carolina, shows a large tree being split in half in Florence's winds. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, maximum peril could come days later as all that water drains, overflowing rivers and causing flash floods.

So far, at least three people have died because of the storm, including a mother and infant who were in a Mercer Avenue house when it was struck by a felled tree.

Police in Wilmington confirmed the mother, Lesha Murphy-Johnson, and baby Adam died, with the tot's father rescued and rushed to the hospital.

In Pender County, a woman died from a heart attack after paramedics were not able to get to her. Paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

United States media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (3 meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages. A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday. Some residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

United States correspondent Cordelia Lynch, who is in New Bern, said: "This community in the weeks and months to come is up against a great deal of flooding". Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

More than 22,600 people in North Carolina were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena. About 210,000 people were staying in 170 shelters in the Carolinas. "Houses. Trees", Holt said.

On Friday night, undaunted by fierce bipartisan criticism, he returned to the issue, tweeting his doubt about the research that produced the official death toll in Puerto Rico.

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