Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Hurricane Florence: North Carolina residents urged to leave

Thousands flee Florence, head to Florida - Story Hurricane Florence: What we know and what to expect
Grady Vargas | 15 September, 2018, 14:09

Forecasters say Florence, the first major hurricane to take direct aim at the USA mainland this year, could batter coastal areas with whipping winds, torrential rain and storm surges as high as 9 feet.

The hurricane's immensity is why some 10 million people across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under storm watches and warnings, with meteorologists projecting Florence could become the most powerful storm to hit this part of the United States in at least 25 years. Its trajectory showed its center most likely to strike the southern coast of North Carolina by late Thursday or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.

President Donald Trump said his administration was "as ready as anybody has ever been" to respond to the storm.

Though Florence has weakened slightly, it's still a very unsafe storm, and a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

"I've been through hurricanes before but never with kids", she said. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power, and that restoring it could take weeks.

Duke Energy warned that Florence could cut off power to anywhere from 1 million to 3 million customers in North and SC, potentially leaving them without electricity for several weeks, said spokeswoman Grace Rountree.

Florence might not be the only massive storm the East Coast will have to contend with over the course of the next several days.

More news: Florence plows inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded
More news: Trump campaign chief Manafort will help Mueller investigation in plea deal
More news: Hurricane Florence downgraded to Category 2, still considered risky

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, more than 60 people were evacuated from a hotel after part of the roof collapsed, city officials said. 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.

The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday. "It's a big one", he said at the White House. NASA/Handout via REUTERS " Pray for Wilmington" is seen on boarded up windows ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 12, 2018.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" he said. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency "in light of the storm's forecasted southward track after making landfall". North Carolina's Duplin and Sampson counties, just inland, sell more hogs and pigs than anywhere else in America. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

Coast Guard shallow water rescue teams took up positions in preparation for search and rescue operations once the worst of the storm passes.

Hours before the storm made landfall September 14, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio. While the reporter has faced scorn from some, for others it brought much needed comedic relief during the deadly storm, reports news.com.au. "Also, a little creepy". "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.

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