Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Duke Energy has 20,000 linemen on standby for Hurricane Florence

Duke Energy has 20,000 linemen on standby for Hurricane Florence

More than 1 million people will likely evacuate from the storm's path in the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the New York Times.

Early on Friday, the downtown area of the city of New Bern, on the Trent and Neuse rivers near the North Carolina coast, was underwater as emergency crews conducted several rescues, according to reports on social media.

By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds weakening to 70 miles per hour as it pushed inland.

"Don't relax. Don't get complacent", said Gov. Roy Cooper. "Today the threat become reality".

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. The storm was a unsafe Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm Thursday.

"We've got a lot of resources, but we don't want to put them out there where they could be injured or maybe worse", Sprayberry said ahead of the storm.

As of 11 a.m. EDT, Florence was centred about 230km southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 17km/h.

A woman holding a child sleeps after being evacuated at Southeast Raleigh High School ahead of Hurricane Florence in Raleigh N.C. on Wednesday

He said hurricane-force winds extended outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 200 miles out.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall around Wilmington on Friday morning. Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor. If it is bowl-shaped, like in Georgia and SC, the surge is deeper, but when it is the opposite shape, like the Outer Banks, it's less so, Needham said. In New Bern, on the Neuse River, a CNN team had to keep shifting position in a park as the water kept rising until it was too unsafe to stay in the area.

"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", Epperson said. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up. But given the storm's size and sluggish track, meteorologists warned that it could cause epic damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds. It is now at Category 1. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind does.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

Climate change will increase the number of both hurricanes and tornados.

"While we expect an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 40 inches of rain, extensive inland flooding and storm surge flooding from Florence, Hurricane Harvey unleashed more than 60 inches of rain locally centered around the United States' fourth largest city, Houston, which has a population of 2.3 million", AccuWeather Founder and President Dr. Joel N. Myers said. Nationwide, airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach between one-to-three million across both North and SC for days and possibly weeks. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. And newly formed Subtropical Storm Joyce is not expected to threaten land soon.

Hurricane Florence now a Category 3, but remains ‘extremely dangerous’
Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week. Usually storms come to the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic from the south - and those usually curve safely out to sea.


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