Monday, 12 November, 2018

Loudoun County Activates Emergency Operations Center as Hurricane Florence Moves Inland

Elijah Vega | 16 September, 2018, 19:12

Rescue operations began as daylight broke over the North Carolina coast Friday morning, while Hurricane Florence continued to pound the area with wind and rain.

The hurricane officially hit the East Coast around 7:40 a.m. ET as a Category 1 storm.

Forecasters say it is especially risky after dark because people trying to escape may not realize how deep flood water is on roads.

The NHC said the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" was expected.

"I know North Carolinians".

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

"Florence is here to stay for awhile", McMaster said from Columbia Friday afternoon.

The hurricane has moved at only 3-6 miles per hour on Friday, increasing the effect of its torrential rains.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 170 miles (280 kilometers).

North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, delivered a message to his state this morning. The record was set by Hurricane Helene in 1958 with 135 miles per hour.

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Residents can be seen wading through deep floodwater in New Bern as they attempt to retrieve their belongings.

The hurricane has caused more than 615,000 power outages in North Carolina, with almost 80,000 reported in SC, according to website poweroutage.us.

Tornadoes are also possible in the eastern North Carolina area according to the NHC, as wind and rain impact land.

He said 20,000 people were being housed in shelters across the state.

South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding.

Officials have warned against entering attics, unless people have a means to cut through to the roof to avoid drowning.

The port city of Wilmington woke Friday to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions, according to an AFP reporter at the scene. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days". It will likely weaken more on Friday, with "rapid weakening forecast over the weekend", the hurricane center said.

"We are expecting several more days of rain and our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger and then we will shift to putting our communities back together", Cooper said Friday.

Many thousand more power customers were without electricity in northeastern South Carolina Friday night.

This landfall has been a long time coming: The hurricane arrived more than two weeks after the National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory for the storm.

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