Hurricane Florence turns deadly as it pounds Carolinas
Hurricane Florence turns deadly as it pounds Carolinas
Hurricane Florence is battering North Carolina with wild winds and a powerful storm surge
15 September, 2018, 13:32
The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon, but warned that life-threatening storm surges - in which water is pushed by a storm over land that would normally be dry - and catastrophic freshwater flooding were still expected.
Gusts of winds in the 50 to 100 mph hour range were also reported since Hurricane Florence came ashore at 7:15 a.m. Friday, and the National Hurricane Center predicted trees would be knocked down. The slow-moving, hurricane - downgraded to a tropical storm around 5 p.m. Friday - is expected to linger over the area this weekend continuing to create a risky situation.
A hilarious video which has gone viral on Twitter with over 10 million views shows a weatherman seemingly struggling to stand in high winds during Hurricane Florence - even as two men walk calmly behind him, apparently unaffected.
Storm surges of up to six feet were forecast for Belhaven, North Carolina, where this video was recorded on the night of September 13.
Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.
Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 315km.
That's not to say the dangers of Hurricane Florence aren't serious.
Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said.
Billy Porch, who lives at the Atlantic Breeze Apartments, said he wasn't going to start worrying until the water reached the stairs to the second level or rear of the complex.
Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday. Baker said the weather service is expecting several rivers to experience record peak flooding - although that won't happen immediately.
Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher.
"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said.
She said the shop, with an electric generator, was safer than their nearby home.
Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out. Jennifer Morales, 20, said there was 3 feet of water in her home.
More than a million people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.
Four shelters were now open, Roberts said, adding that dispatchers received a call for 17 people stranded all on one street.
Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.
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Five people, including an infant, were killed as Florence battered the North Carolina coast on Friday. As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
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The National Hurricane Center is predicting the storm will produce "catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding". The Barbados Meteorological Services continues to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Isaac over the Atlantic.
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