Hurricane Florence makes landfall, unleashing potent fury on the Carolinas

Katie Ramirez
September 14, 2018

That means the potential for days of hurricane force wind gusts, high waves, and storm surge that could be as high as 15 feet.

But North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Corps staff worked with Army officials to review dams at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Jackson in SC to "ensure any effects of Florence on those dams are mitigated", said Ray Alexander, the Corps' inter-agency services chief. After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.

"The combination of a risky storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline", according to the National Hurricane Center.

So far, it's estimate more than 1.7 million Americans have heeded the warnings about Hurricane Florence.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center projects Florence's landfall near the North Carolina-South Carolina border on Saturday morning; however, the storm will be spinning just offshore - stalled out - east of Wilmington, NC for about 36-48 hours before that.

"We're still going to get catastrophic inland flooding from heavy rains and multibillion-dollar storm-surge damage along the coast where it hits, " said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 90 centimetres of rain, touching off severe flooding.

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From there, Trump was also planning to make the journey to Ireland to renew the deep and historic ties between the two nations. The delegation of the White house were to visit Ireland in the coming weeks to plan the trip, but her visit was canceled.

In southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC up to 40 inches of rain could fall, producing "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", said the NHC. The vivid presentation - powered by the Unreal Engine, most commonly used in video games - seems likely to serve as a more pressing demonstration of the storm's threat than a mere written warning, and that's vitally important for folks in impacted areas.

Emergency response teams have been "fully pre-positioned" to help local governments and companies like utilities cope with the damage Florence will leave, Long said - but the storm has to leave.

According to radar images as of 7 a.m., the storm's eye was drawing near the New Hanover-Pender County line. While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia. Two amphibious Navy ships are on standby to respond and provide disaster relief after Florence moves through. It has also moved most ships, submarines and planes out their base at Hampton Roads, Virginia, to safety far at sea or in distant airbases.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

CNN quoted the town's Mayor Joe Benson as saying, "Our sand dunes are healthy but they're not going to be able to keep back a wall of water like that".

In Myrtle Beach, ABC correspondent Pete Combs painted a starker picture of those who made a decision to stay in place.

"This is an absolute life-threatening scenario".

"The weather is a visceral, physical thing, and we're trying to recreate that in the most realistic way possible", The Weather Channel'svice president of design Michael Potts told The Verge. "We're fully prepared. Food, medical, everything you can imagine, we are ready".

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