2 p.m. update: Florence within 110 miles of Wilmington

Cristina Cross
September 14, 2018

Florence is expected to strike North Carolina's coast on Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday, according to Miami's National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Tens of thousands of people are already without power.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

At this time, Florence was a Category 1 hurricane.

Hurricane Florence hit the south-east coast of the United States last night with winds of up to 90mph and a storm surge of 10 feet.

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast for days - will bring life-threatening storm surge and torrential rains. "We are stuck in the attic".

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC later tonight, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC in the hurricane warning area on Friday", the briefing said.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Sandie Orsa, of Wilmington, who fears splintering trees will destroy her home. The storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

He said: "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

More than 370,000 people were without power in North Carolina early on Friday, state officials said. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

More than 60 people, including many children and pets, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse, local officials said.

Meghan Markle burdened by trust issues and shrinking inner circle
Her older dog, Bogart, a Labrador-Shepherd, was left with friends in LA when she made the move to London because he was deemed too frail for the trip.

The storm is moving inland at a speed of 6 miles per hour and conditions are likely to deteriorate as it pushes its way southwest along the coast Friday through Saturday.

There is also a "slight" risk of tornadoes along the coastal region between Southport and Surf City, along with a "marginal" risk several miles inland, through Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties, according to the National Weather Service.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

"We've planned for this". "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

Michael Nelson floats in a boat made from a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River went over its banks and started to flood his street in New Bern, N.C. Thursday.

The rescues began around 4 p.m. Thursday, Craven County spokeswoman Amber Parker said.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", she said.

Aside from wind-shear dangers, concerns are now shifting to flooding and storm surge issues.

The storm remained a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour.

Forecasters said wind speeds have dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour to 110 miles per hour, reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land. Residents are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and communities with financial struggles are slow to rebuild after a major disaster.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article