Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas

Katie Ramirez
September 15, 2018

To hammer home the point, The Weather Channel created graphics showing just how risky storm surges can be, explaining how these turbulent waters can include detritus, chemicals and even electricity.

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident. The father was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries. Another woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. He apparently was blown down after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs, local media said.

Cooper said Florence was expected to cover nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 3 metres, he said.

"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said.

Some of the worst flooding was in New Bern, where authorities were enforcing a curfew.

Both rivers overflowed their banks, flooding homes, stores and streets and trapping many people in their houses.

"You need to be prepared to be without power for weeks", Holding said, pointing out that Hurricane Fran knocked out power for two weeks and Hurricane Matthew left him without power for five days.

By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds weakened to 112 km/h as it moved forward at 6km/h about 25 kilometres north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 metre).

Hurricane Florence won't just leave fallen trees and flooded streets in its wake.

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On the mainland in New Bern, authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.

"The slower it moves, the longer these rain bands take", National Hurricane Center Ken Graham warned.

Forecasters believe the biggest danger right now is the water, not the wind.

Richmond, Va. -based Dominion Energy, which provides power in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, was reporting over 1,900 scattered outages. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

In Wilmington, Mason Tarr said he spent the night at a friend's house but didn't sleep well. More than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate in advance of the storm.

Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches over elevated terrain are forecast across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

USA media said a fifth death may have occurred when a man tried to connect two extension cords in the rain.

"We're out of power so we spent the first few hours of the day playing board games with candles", he said.

Florence should continue losing strength as it menders along the coast, weakening further as the storm travels across inland SC on Saturday, the weather service said.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.

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