Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence slams into southeastern coast of United States

What happened 17 years ago Carolina coast braces for 'Mike Tyson punch' from hurricane
Cary Marshall | 14 September, 2018, 15:06

"The time to leave is running out, there will come a time when it will be too late and the rescue teams will not be able to come because they will also have to take refuge", warned South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"Florence is still a unsafe storm", said Rebecca Fuller, a meteorologist with Radiant Solutions in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Hurricane Florence's outer edges have started to batter the coast of North Carolina - with winds of 100mph bending trees and shooting frothy seawater onto the streets.

Up to 1.7 million people are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents were frantically boarding up homes and businesses and hitting the road on Wednesday as the storm approached.

"We could have rain in the area for the next five days or so from Florence", Morrow said. The eye of that hurricane merely grazed the coast.

On top of the potentially destructive hurricane, forecasters also put parts of North Carolina on tornado watch.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

As of 8 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph).

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

"This is a powerful storm that can kill", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in a Thursday press briefing.

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The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut down to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles. South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management. "I am frightened about what's coming".

In Sea Breeze, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptised because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" after the storm, she told Reuters news agency.

Kevin Miller, a 50-year-old electrician, said he planned to ride out the storm at his home near Charleston.

Even if Florence were downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, it would still cause extensive damage, Abrams says. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". "I've got four cats inside the house".

"It doesn't matter how much money you have or how many generators you have if you can't get gas", she said.

On Thursday evening, the Neuse River burst its banks which caused rapid flooding in New Bern, North Carolina, forcing residents to flee as the entire city lost power.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate, including from the Eastern Shore.

More than 30,000 United States retail bank branches - 34% of the country's branch network - are now at risk of facing tropical storm force winds from Hurricane Florence over the coming days, according information compiled by data analytics firm Qlik.

Once the centre moves inland, the intensity of the hurricane is set to decrease, according to a forecast discussion posted on the NHC's website.

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