Tropical Storm Florence to batter USA for days, officials warn

Cristina Cross
September 17, 2018

USA authorities on Friday downgraded Florence from a hurricane to a tropical storm, as the still unsafe weather system unleashed torrential rains but saw its wind power weaken slightly, reported AFP. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rain on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.

Another two people died in the city of Kinston, said Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Gov. Roy Cooper said.

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had around 7 inches (18 centimeters). On land, wind gusts hit the lower triple digits, but just off the coast, buoys recorded wind gusts at 112 miles per hour shortly before landfall. Duke Energy expects between 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses to lose power. Sea level rise also adds to storm surge damage: When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, a study found sea-level rise over the 20th century caused more than $2 billion in additional damage in New York City due to the "extra" storm surge it generated. The flash flooding could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges.

Forecasters believe the biggest danger right now is the water, not the wind. His state has already endured record rainfall, with much more forecast to come. Hundreds of people had to be rescued.

A fallen tree is shown after it crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

The company hasn't yet determined whether any contamination entered the Cape Fear River.

The 640km-wide storm has struck regions as far north as NY state and left hundreds besieged by waters.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.

Tropical Storm Isaac continues to weaken as it approaches the Caribbean
All watches and warnings were discontinued yesterday. "Isaac has become less organized and is now a weak Tropical Storm ". Steered westward by high pressure to its north, Isaac is forecast to move through the Lesser Antilles today and tomorrow.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

New Bern resident Latasha Jones is one of the more fortunate ones. But thousands of buildings were damaged in destruction Roberts called "heart-wrenching".

Shaken after seeing waves crashing in the Neuse River just outside his house in the town of New Bern, hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Coast Guard helicopters were taking off across the street to rescue stranded people from rooftops and swamped cars.

In New Bern, about 90 miles northeast of Wilmington at the confluence of two rivers, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000 and left the downtown area under water. Although the storm is now a Category 1 hurricane, it is still dumping feet of rain over coastal communities.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said.

Florence's five fatalities included a mother and her infant killed after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, the city's police department said. Rainfall totals will depend on the speed of the storm, he said.

The storm's movement, not its strength, has forecasters and officials anxious.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help. "May God be with them!"

But Florence's forward movement had slowed to a crawl, and it piled on the rain in a siege that could go on all weekend long.

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