Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

North Carolina Feels First Bite Of Hurricane Florence

Bracing for Hurricane Florence | Don't Miss This Hurricane Florence's winds and rain begin lashing US Carolinas coast
Grady Vargas | 18 September, 2018, 07:30

It left at least seven people dead and almost a million homes without power.

North Carolina had 108 shelters open, and SC reported having 56 shelters open on Thursday morning, as the storm headed toward the coast. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".

Dark clouds hang off the beach of Hatteras Village at the south end of Hatteras Island, NC., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. "You need to go on and get out now". The hurricane is now 110 miles ESE of Wilmington, North Carolina and is moving toward the northwest at 10 mph.

"We hope to have something left when we get home", she said.

The center of Florence is expected to approach the coasts of North and SC later on Thursday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.

A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River in SC to Duck in North Carolina, and a warning was in effect for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

"As soon as a storm is about to hit, all traffic stops in and out of the area until the storm calms down and the roads are clear", she says.

U.S. television networks said 7pm to 7am curfews had been put in place in several towns surrounding Myrtle Beach.

Hurricane-like conditions are expected to arrive in the areas covered by warnings by Thursday night or early Friday.

FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement. But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast day after day - will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised that there are now 96 New Zealanders officially registered with SafeTravel as being in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. "Now it might be time for the exam", he said.

UPDATED THU 5 A.M. Map shows probable path of Hurricane Florence.; 1c x 2 1/2 inches 46.5 mm x 63
UPDATED THU 5 A.M. Map shows probable path of Hurricane Florence.; 1c x 2 1/2 inches 46.5 mm x 63

The result could be catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, fields and industrial sites.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the hurricane will cause up to 13 feet of storm surge on the East Coast.

More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands have moved to emergency shelters.

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

Thursday morning New Bern Fire-Rescue was riding through low-lying neighborhoods using aerial announcements to encourage remaining residents to evacuate in advance of rising water. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

"We call them disasters because they break things", said FEMA's Long.

Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.

Duke is mobilizing about 20,000 workers, including from its Midwest and Florida units, to help restore power.

Up to 75 percent of the utility's customers could be without power, and it may take "weeks" to fully restore it, he said. "I'm not leaving him here". "We're ready and God will watch over us". "We will not be able to respond to you when the winds get so high".

"I have no generator", said Petra Langston, a nurse. "All I can do is put my hands together and ask God to keep me safe".

All four major USA airlines have said they are capping selected airfares below what last-minute tickets would cost.

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