Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

10M in crosshairs of Hurricane ‘Florence’

10M in crosshairs of Hurricane ‘Florence’

Four deaths have already been attributed to Hurricane Florence after it made landfall in North Carolina early Friday, pushing a life-threatening storm surge of floodwater miles inland and ripping apart buildings with screaming wind and pelting rain.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge whipped the Carolina coast to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and Masters said Florence would still be an extremely unsafe storm for rain and storm surge.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. So if you can leave, now would be a good time to go ahead and leave and you can always get back in. "We are going to be very very very limited in terms of responding".

"We have quite literally surrounded the expected affected area with DOD capability that will be critical in hours and days following the storm's impact", said Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, who heads U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

In its 0300 GMT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the maximum sustained winds of Florence were 90 miles per hour, dropping it to the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale. "I want it to really start and get it over with so we know if people are going to be safe".

The hurricane center is forecasting the storm to hover near the coast on Saturday with winds of around 130 kph before landfall, but with rainfall ranging from 50 to 75 centimeters and up to 4 meters of storm surge. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland. "Today the threat becomes a reality", according to The Associated Press.

Residents are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and communities with financial struggles are slow to rebuild after a major disaster.

RMS Event Response Manager Tom Sabbatelli said Thursday that though Florence had weakened considerably, the storm was broader because of that weakening.

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When Trump visited in October 2017, two weeks after the storm hit, the death toll at the time was indeed 16 people. Ron DeSantis also disagreed with Trump's unsubstantial claims of an inflated death toll.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had just been briefed on the storm and "FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement are supplied and ready".

"I was feeling fine until I woke up this morning and this is a ghost town", said Kristin Beard, a 40-year-old Myrtle Beach marketer.

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.

Conditions are rapidly deteriorating along the coast of the Carolinas as Florence approaches.

Rainfalls up to 40 inches (102 centimeters) in some places are expected in a region ranging from coastal North Carolina to northeastern SC, with flash flooding likely, according to the NHC.

Officials pleaded with residents across the Carolinas to treat the storm as a deadly threat.

"If I'm wrong, I'll see them on the other side".

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