Monday, 19 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence: Giant, slow-moving storm causes deluge as it makes landfall

Erika Navarro 3D weather WEATHER CHANNEL SHOCKING Erika Navarro revealed Hurricane Florence's potential
Cary Marshall | 15 September, 2018, 21:08

In Wilmington, numerous trees that contributed to its historic beauty are now gone.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is incredible and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood.

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's winds have slowed to tropical storm strength, and said the storm is moving slowly inland with sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and higher gusts.

At one point, the 350-mile-wide but slow-moving storm packed winds so fierce that "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor almost lost contact with CBS News' New York studio during the morning broadcast.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

About 70 people were pulled from a motel near Camp LeJeune at the height of the storm as the roof started to collapse.

Prior to Hurricane Florence's landfall, more than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate the coast.

"Please be safe and be smart and use your common sense", Cooper added.

Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds on Thursday.

This story was compiled from McClatchy papers in North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer; and in South Carolina, The State in Columbia, the Beaufort Gazette, The Island Packet in Hilton Head and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach; and supplemented with wire service reports.

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As of 5:00 am (0900 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".

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

A mother and her infant are dead after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington. The father was transported to the hospital with injuries. Another person died from a cardiac arrest when emergency services could not reach her, due to downed trees blocking their path. Paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

At least four people have died, and authorities fear the toll will go higher.

"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news briefing about a storm that forecasters said was 300 miles (480 km) wide.

Dolphins have been seen swimming close to the shoreline in high water caused by Hurricane Florence.

NEW BERN, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina. 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. Officials in the town of 30,000, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon. Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday. In neighboring SC, 165,000 customers are without power, officials said.

The flooding soon spread into SC.

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows broken.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said. Trump plans a visit to the region next week.

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