Hurricane Florence leaves death and destruction in its wake

Hurricane Florence’s ‘life-threatening’ storm surge pours over Outer Banks’ NC 12 | Charlotte Observer

Hurricane Florence’s ‘life-threatening’ storm surge pours over Outer Banks’ NC 12 | Charlotte Observer

With the brunt of the storm yet to come, a gauge on the Neuse River in New Bern, a city near the coast, was already recording 10 feet (3 meters) of inundation, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said. "We've got some roof issues, parts of roof are coming off and we've got some fences coming down".

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but its unclear how many did.

"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina. One man was taken out in critical condition, and a mother and baby were killed.

Wright is far from the only resident in the Carolinas that chose to weather Hurricane Florence, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, though many who chose to stay are starting to reconsider their decision of sticking around for what North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called a "1,000-year event".

Though Florence did not arrive with winds as violent as once feared, forecasters got the storm surge and rainfall correct.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

With South Carolina's beach towns now more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.

"It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1am this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted", the network said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to The Hill that Trump would head to storm-damaged regions "early to middle next week" and that more information about his travel plans would be forthcoming. The NHC said parts of North and SC may get as much as 40 inches of rain. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend. They tried desperately to return to their homes as the Neuse River overflowed its banks. Coastal storm surge is expected to be as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 30 centimetres to 1 metre as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days. National Hurricane Center meteorologist Joel Cline said the mountains will wring water out of the moist tropical air: "It's like running into a wall, and that moisture has to go somewhere, and it goes up, creates rain, and you have torrential rain in that area".

It comes amid otherwise serious warnings for residents in North and SC as Hurricane Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday, continues to put properties and lives at risk.

"Inland flooding kills a lot of people unfortunately and that's what we're about to see".

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

"It's moving very, very slowly", the weather service's Baker said of the hurricane.

According to meteorologist Ryan Maue, this amounts to 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on USA soil. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. The latest forecasts indicate that rainfall totals could reach 40 inches in southeast North Carolina and northeast SC. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

Since midnight, peak wind gusts reached 32 miles per hour in Raleigh and 47 miles per hour in Fayetteville. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

Hundreds of people were rescued in New Bern, N.C., on Friday as Tropical Storm Florence continued its assault on the Carolina coast after making landfall in the morning.

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