Hurricane Florence: Over 188,000 without power as monster storm batters Carolinas

Hurricane Florence: Over 188,000 without power as monster storm batters Carolinas

Kenneth Drake
September 15, 2018

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the USA are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

It is an "absolutely a personal decision" to stay or go, Lori Crouch, a spokesperson for the city said.

The National Hurricane Center's latest 5-day rainfall map as of Friday morning showed 6 to 10 inches of rain for the Triangle area, with localized heavier amounts.

City officials in one North Carolina community sent out an ominous tweet sometime around 2 a.m. Friday.

Florence will likely weaken as it moves inland, especially on Saturday (Sept. 15) as it moves over SC, according to National Hurricane Center predictions.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

- Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

As many as 3 million people could lose electricity as a result of the storm.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

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Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the US electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached out 195 miles (315 kilometers).

"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said.

Rescue crews in Onslow County helped evacuate 70 people from a Jacksonville hotel early Friday after the roof collapsed and rain rushed in.

New Bern, which sits along the Neuse River, has seen massive flooding and damage from the storm, and now civil authorities are urging people to get to high points in their homes to await rescue efforts.

In the besieged North Carolina city of New Bern, rescuers by midmorning Friday had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire. North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia were expected to be hit with the brunt of the Category 3 storm.

The rainy summer has already caused some flooding at the zoo, so Kottyan said it has already identified problem areas on the grounds and is taking measures to guard against additional flooding from the hurricane, such as blocking animal stall doors with hay bails.

The path of Hurricane Florence sees it going over some of the poorest areas on the eastern seaboard.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves, " it said.