Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Sergio Cunningham
September 15, 2018

Hurricane Florence made landfall on North Carolina's Atlantic coast early Friday, triggering a life-threatening storm surge of floodwater kilometers inland and tearing apart buildings with strong winds and heavy downpours.

The company said as many as three-fourths of its 4 million customers in North Carolina and SC could lose power.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

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

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it".

"I think it's going to be a little worse than other people thought", he said, looking out over the beach. FEMA officials wrote on Twitter people should not focus on the category of the storm - as of Thursday morning, Hurricane Florence was a Category 2 storm, indicating slower wind speeds - but rather should pay attention to the fact there will be extreme flooding in the Carolinas as a result.

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

"Into next week our rivers are going to continue to rise and there will be more significant flooding", Cooper said.

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

Hurricane Florence bears down on Carolinas
When all is said and done, Florence could pour 40 inches of rain along some parts of the North Carolina coast, according to CNN. The father sustained injuries and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for medical care.

Charlotte-based Duke had posted roughly 96,000 outages in Carteret, Craven, Pamlico, Onslow and New Hanover counties, while the co-ops listed more than 74,700 outages in the same general area.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the USA for the first time. The center of the storm is expected to maintain a westward track across southeastern North Carolina Friday and across eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday.

Florence is expected to crawl to the west - battering everything in its path with 80mph winds - before smashing into neighbouring SC.

The powerful storm already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and forecasters say that "catastrophic" freshwater flooding is expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed. "This will cause extremely unsafe flooding", the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned.

"(Its) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and fears splintering trees will pummel her house.

Travel on the state's roads has grown "extremely hazardous", said Jim Trogdon, the North Carolina transportation secretary, who warned in a late-morning briefing that a 500- to 1,000-year "flood event is anticipated".

At least 150 people were waiting to be rescued in New Bern, N.C., officials tweeted Thursday evening.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

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