Hurricane Florence: What storm surge could look like on East Coast
Hurricane Florence: What storm surge could look like on East Coast
More than 400k evacuate South Carolina as Florence approaches
16 September, 2018, 01:54
Hurricane Florence's winds began whipping coastal North Carolina on Thursday as the slow-moving tempest began to unleash fierce rains that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the U.S. southeast.
An American Red Cross aid worker walks through the cafeteria at Conway High School which is being used as a Hurricane Florence evacuation shelter at Conway High School on September 13, 2018 in Conway, South Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.
Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 105 miles per hour (165 kph) after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC.
Winds were already picking up along the coastline on Thursday morning and Myrtle Beach was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic.
She says people often want to get outside and take pictures. "But they come and they go in a matter of minutes". The center is slowing down and is expected to stall and perhaps wander around just off shore on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired non-profit director.
Those who live more inland could experience flash flooding, potential tornadoes and mudslides, forecasters said.
Time is running short to get out of the way of Hurricane Florence, a monster of a storm that has a region of more than 10 million people in its potentially devastating sights.
Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear-skies high-pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI.
Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded from a risky Category 1 storm Friday, but millions have still been affected.
SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.
Despite pleas from state and local officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.
As the storm continues to track toward western North Carolina and upstate SC, heavy rains in the mountains could trigger mudslides due to the region's topography, Cline added. "It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we're forecasting is unprecedented", Moss said. "The infrastructure is going to break, the power is going to go out". Storm surge is why many of you have been placed under evacuation and we are asking citizens to please heed a warning. She hopes they'll stay inside once the winds, rain and floods arrive. "We will have catastrophic effects".
Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however.
The storm has a wide reach, too. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said. "I'm not leaving him here". "We're ready and God will watch over us".
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Garden City Fire District Chief Norman Knight told Murrells Inlet residents on Thursday that it was still not too late to leave. In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000.
In Wilmington , near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken. Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 miles per hour (7 km/h), with its center located over eastern SC .
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CNN reports dire word from FEMA associate administrator Jeff Byard, who warns that this storm is not to be reckoned with. Thursday update , said Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington , N.C., moving northwest at 15 mph.
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Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas, swelling rivers
Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Flash flooding has spread into Raleigh and will expand over Charlotte as well, where flash flood advisories are in effect.
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