Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Hurricane Florence smashes into US East Coast, rescuers scramble

Hurricane Florence smashes into US East Coast, rescuers scramble

Hurricane Florence has arrived in North Carolina, bringing massive floods and damage caused by heavy rain and an enormous storm surge.

The Category 1 storm forced ABC affiliate WCTI 12 in New Bern to evacuate during a live broadcast. 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.

Since then, Florence has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, and made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, early Friday morning.

Ken Graham, the NHC's director, warned the slow pace of the storm exacerbated its danger even to areas outside its immediate path.

Wilmington resident Julie Terrell said she was concerned after walking to breakfast past a row of shops fortified with boards, sandbags and hurricane shutters. Scores of people still await rescue there.

WXII-TV reported that 150 people were waiting to be rescued from rising waters in the city New Bern.

"We've rescued over 100 people in New Bern, N.C.; people from Jacksonville, N.C., had to rescued from a hotel", Cooper said, describing efforts to save people in towns north of Wilmington where high floods have already hit.

Strom surge that was projected between nine and twelve feet in Pamlico Sound and the Pamlico and Neuse rivers was expected to cause a "tremendous amount of inland flooding", said Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

FLORENCE: Landfall expected Friday morning, inland flooding a threat
Hurricane Florence is closing in on the Carolinas Thursday morning as more than 10 million people brace for the worst. Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear-skies high-pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI .

The Weather Channel used the high-tech graphic to place meteorologist Erika Navarro in a virtual street, with water levels rising steadily around her.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition. "Catastrophic effects will be felt". Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached out to 195 miles (315 kilometers). A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.

The hurricane has been moving at only 3-6 miles per hour as it drops torrential rains.

The center of Florence is forecast to move further inland across southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday.

According to CNN, the hurricane hit the east coast of the U.S. with 90-mph winds and relentless rain.

Image: Waters come ashore in Avon, North Carolina.

Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

The center said that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation. Spending, meanwhile, fell more than 30 percent, or around $500 that week, and more than 65 percent on the day of landfall as businesses closed up shop and residents took shelter from the storm. "I'm not leaving him here". He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees. Perched on the porch of his home, carpenter Tony Albright was calmly awaiting Florence's arrival, beer in hand. "I charged the batteries of my electronic devices, I have beers and video games".

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