Storm chaser records Florence battering Carolina coast

Leroy Wright
September 15, 2018

It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

More than 60 people had to be evacuated from a motel at risk of collapse in Jacksonville.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to three-quarters of a million homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over.

But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Governor Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

"This is an uninvited brute that just won't leave", Cooper said on "Today".

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police.

Published on Sep 14, 2018 01:30 Pm (IST): Hurricane Florence is all set to pound hefty rainfall over the Carolinas and Virginia as it is likely to make landfall in the next 6 to 8 hours. "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

The National Hurricane Center said the eye of the storm hit Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, just east of Wilmington, at 7:15 a.m. ET Friday with winds of about 90 miles per hour. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Florence plows inland, leaving five dead, states flooded
The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you". The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina .

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

The National Hurricane Centre said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 metres) of inundation. One of those bears, typically bolted in front of a downtown business, floated on South Front Street, prompting the city to tweet: "Some of our beloved bears have wandered off".

Rain bands were already affecting the eastern part of North Carolina and SC, with rain increasing and waves growing.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, 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. When Hurricane Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for risky flooding and dramatic rescues. "This will cause extremely unsafe flooding", the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned.

Hurricane Florence is delivering driving wind, pelting rain and widespread flooding into North Carolina - and it's not going away anytime soon. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water, he calculated. Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

The tropical cyclone is expected to unload 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina, meteorologist Ryan Maue said. Pieces of ripped-apart buildings flew through the air. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. It was crawling west-southwest at 3 miles per hour, lifting huge amounts of ocean moisture and dumping it far from the coast.

Airlines cancelled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

Here's video of New Bern, North Carolina where hundreds of people were trapped in flood waters.

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighborhood during Florence's assault.

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