Hurricane Florence lashes Carolinas in United States, causing floods

Hurricane Florence lashes Carolinas in United States, causing floods

The storm will slow down because of pushback from a trough - an extended area of low atmospheric pressure - now over Texas, Stacy Stewart, an NHC senior hurricane specialist, said in the update.

The storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7.15 am, the National Hurricane Centre said.

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's going to get worse", he said at a news conference in Raleigh.

The hurricane was "wreaking havoc" and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days", the governor said.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches are now in effect up and down the coast of North Carolina and SC.

Florence was at last report a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers (121 miles) per hour.

Forecasters said wind speeds have dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) to 110 miles per hour (175 kph), reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.

More news: Despite guilty plea, Paul Manafort still holds the Trump card

Cooper said Florence was expected to cover nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water. Twenty inches (50 cm) were reported by early Friday afternoon in the town of Oriental.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, while many of their neighbors awaited help.

Other small boat teams were arriving in the region, including volunteers of the Cajun Navy, a network of groups from Louisiana, and Task Force 1, an urban search and rescue team based in New Jersey.

The Wilmington Police Department said the two were killed when a tree fell on their house. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington. The governor said tens of thousands are without power and roads are beginning to flood along the coast. "It's insane", he said by telephone.

"I am anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said.

More news: South Africa's murder rate up nearly 7 percent, police say

The only route off North Carolina's Hatteras Island closed Thursday as Hurricane Florence approached. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power, and that restoring it could take weeks.

We know it has forced the cancellation of almost 1,800 flights, with more to come, and that it has already caused serious flooding in coastal areas.

Faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early next week while Florence moves farther inland.

A graphic of Hurricane Florence's path, generated today (Sept. 12) at 2 p.m. ET by the National Hurricane Center, shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow).

Maysie Baumgardner, 7, sheltered with her family at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence's floodwaters filled the streets.

"But I'm staying", she said. "I'm a little bit scared right now, but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".

Over 927,865 (738,826 in North Carolina and 189,039 in South Carolina) homes and businesses were without power late Friday night.

More news: Hurricane Florence stalks US East Coast

"While Florence's maximum winds are expected to weaken a little, it is still expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the coast", they warned in a Wednesday mid-day update. In the Philippines, evacuations were under way with Super Typhoon Mangkhut expected to hit on Saturday in an area impacting an estimated 5.2 million people.

Related Articles