NHC says Florence has weakened to a tropical storm

Katie Ramirez
September 17, 2018

Written by Jennifer Kay on September 14, 2018 6:34 pm.

Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths. Officials also have confirmed the hurricane's first known fatalities.

By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds weakening to 112 km/h as it pushed inland.

As of noon, Emerald Isle had more than 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot (30 centimeters). Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds besieged by the rising waters.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 950,000 customers in that state and SC.

New Bern touts itself as the second-oldest city in North Carolina. "Warmer oceans mean more energy to intensify tropical storms and hurricanes", he said. Nationwide, airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

Potential losses: estimated $10 billion to $60 billion in economic damages.

In nearby New Bern, where water levels reached at least 10 feet overnight, 150 people requested a rescue.

Wilmington, North Carolina police said the mother and her infant were killed after a tree fell on their house.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

Preparing a Nuclear Power Plant ahead of Hurricane Florence
Bobby Brown, 50, with his granddaughter Lyric, 1, during a power outage in Florence, South Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. She said that shutting the plant down is part of the disaster preparedness plan that all nuclear plants must have in place.

Typhoon Mangkhut slammed into the Philippines, ripping off tin roof sheets and knocking out power in an agricultural region of flood-prone rice plains and landslide-prone mountain provinces. At the time of landfall, Florence had sustained winds of 90 miles per hour with gusts hitting 106 miles per hour.

Flood conditions will worsen through the relentless rainfall over the next couple days, officials warned.

Florence is expected to dump 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on U.S. soil, meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long warned on Thursday that inland flooding could be deadly and the cleanup will take time and patience.

"All evacuation orders from local officials should be followed because of this risky threat", the Weather Channel said.

About 600,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina.

Utility officials say almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas on Friday and more were expected to lose power. That count is expected to rise significantly.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile (1.6 kilometers) of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the coast. The Nationwide Weather Service measured the storm surge within the mumble at three metres deep on Friday.

Meanwhile, many were experiencing a complete blackout as the storm damaged infrastructure, utility poles and transmission lines. "Cameras outside the International Space Station captured dramatic views of rapidly strengthening Hurricane Florence at 8:10 a.m. EDT Sept. 10 as it moved in a westerly direction across the Atlantic, headed for a likely landfall along the eastern seaboard of the US late Thursday or early Friday", NASA explains in a new blog post.

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