Hurricane hits Carolinas, governor warns 'it's going to get worse'

Katie Ramirez
September 15, 2018

Search and Rescue workers from NY rescue a man from flooding caused by Hurricane Florence in River Bend, North Carolina, the United States, on September 14, 2018.

The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Recent tracking maps show Florence stalking near the coast line, increasing the chances of flooding across four states.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

"We have a situation that has developed here, at the station, and that is that the water is getting close to the building, that the building has been evacuated", Cox said.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

Speaking at the White House, Trump said "protection of life is the absolute highest priority".

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

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the NHC said.

"It's a very unsafe storm", Federal Emergency Management Authority administrator Jeff Byard said.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

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Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, after barreling into North Carolina with damaging winds and heavy rain, leaving at least five people dead.

"The state is mobilising all available resources to ensure public safety", Deal said.

The water starts at her feet, rising behind her to three feet and "coming up my shins towards my waist", then to six feet and finally to nine feet, dwarfing her as she warns of the storm surge. South Carolina AD Ray Tanner and I communicated all week in hopes that we could play, but in the end, not playing is the safest option for all concerned.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC yesterday, utility officials said.

In Wilmington, Solange Iliou Thompson closed down her restaurant, Indochine, because all of her employees had left the city. Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes.Maysie Baumgardner, 7, and her family sheltered at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence filled the streets with floodwaters. "I want to get them as far away as possible".

Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation? "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

Director Tom Collins says the woman in Hampstead had a heart attack Friday morning, but emergency crews could not get to her because of downed trees in the road.

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