FLORENCE: Up to 30 percent of NC could lose power

Katie Ramirez
September 14, 2018

Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

The storm surge - often the most perilous risk to life posed by any hurricane - is expected to inundate areas along the coast with saltwater that's 9-13 feet deep, from Cape Fear, N.C., to Cape Lookout, N.C.

Here is the newest information on Hurricane Florence as it lands on the East Coast.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C., wrote Tuesday, "and that's saying a lot given the impacts we've seen from hurricanes Diana, Hugo, Fran, Bonnie, Floyd, and Matthew".

It was located about 85 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and about 145 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water.

Hurricane Florence lumbered ashore in North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to a half-million homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

One to three million people could lose power because of Hurricane Florence.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 160 kmh, but that's still enough to cause at least US$1 billion in damage.

Forecasters said conditions will only get more lethal as the storm smashes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawls slowly inland.

"Get out of its way, don't play games with it", said Mr Trump. "It's a big one", he said at the White House.

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Its unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm. The two hardware chains said they sent in a total of around 1,100 trucks.

Visit our sister site Live Science for the latest Hurricane Florence forecast.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its four million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

The massive storm is larger than North Carolina and South Carolina - combined, according to South Carolina Emergency Management.

The timing of the official landfall could change with any shift in Florence's track over the next 12-18 hours.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 25 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Added Chris: "I think with what we know right now [with the storm track] this is the best decision for us".

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate, " Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said.

Officials in the potential path of Florence urged people to evacuate their coastal homes and directed drivers away from the coast.

As Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolina coast, a Wilmington, North Carolina, resident joined "Fox & Friends First" to explain why he has deliberately ignored mandatory evacuation orders. Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle. "We're trying to get everybody out and as such we're shutting the hospital down", said Dr. John Pangia of Grand Strand Health.

All four major USA airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost. Three other Southern raceways also opened campgrounds to evacuees.

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