Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Florence plows inland, leaving five dead, states flooded

Florence plows inland, leaving five dead, states flooded

Scenes of flooded streets, homes and businesses, power outages and pelting rains are emerging from the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina. The storm was moving very slowly westward at about 6 miles per hour.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the US for the first time. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said. As of 1 p.m. ET, the storm's sustained winds dropped to 75 miles per hour as it wobbled west-southwestward near the coast, delaying its expected move inland, the National Hurricane Center said.

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches (38 centimeters) more. The unsafe storm surge caused damage and flooding.

Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm, is barrelling towards the States causing panic across the country, and more than a million people have been evacuated in preparation for landfall.

The centre of the slow-moving storm, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane after it came ashore Friday afternoon, was almost stalled over SC early Saturday, about 55 kilometres west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 8 km/h and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea. Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 storm and further downgraded to a tropic storm on Friday evening.

Authorities in New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people that dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

In a hurricane, as Live Science has reported, the most significant threat is flooding, not the high winds. As the need arises, state and local emergency management officials are working to set up even more shelters where people can stay safe during and after the storm.

More than 800,000 people were left without power across North Carolina, with officials warning the number could rise to 2.5 million in the coming days.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

Both deaths were reported to the State Medical Examiner's Office by the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

Zaytoun said he didn't leave his home because he knew he wouldn't have been able to get back to it once the flooding began. It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.

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