Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 14, 2018

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

Hurricane Florence has arrived in North Carolina, bringing massive floods and damage caused by heavy rain and an enormous storm surge. While hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.

Operations at the ports of Wilmington, Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk in Virginia, which together handled 23 per cent of East Coast imports in 2017, have been disrupted by the storm.

HurricaneFlorence is inflicting its long, agonizing assault on the North Carolina coast, with winds whipping at 90 miles per hour and life-threatening storm surge pushing ashore as the lumbering storm's eyewall begins to reach the coast.

Florence is forecast to hit land on Friday and the U.S. National Weather Service predicts some areas will see more than 750 millimetres of rain.

Florence is now a Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale and is forecast to slam into the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference that the "historic" hurricane would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state in several feet of water.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other storms, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac.

Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to.

Ken Graham, NHC director, said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as two miles.

"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

With winds picking up along the coastline early Thursday, federal and state officials had issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

Officials have warned the storm has the potential to kill "a lot of people" amid risks of "catastrophic" flooding.

North Carolinians made last-minute preparations and hunkered down to await Florence's arrival.

An estimated 3 million people across the Carolinas could be without power before long, and the lights may be out for weeks in some areas, said the region's largest provider, Duke Energy.

Officials say anyone who has not heeded mandatory evacuation orders is on his own.

"Some say North Carolina is getting a break, but we are on the wrong side of this story", he said.

"The shelters are not taking dogs", Ramirez said.

"If I need to evacuate I can go to my son's house", Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his vehicle. "I learned from the past to keep the ice in the washing machine".

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way, especially for people that we've already told to evacuate", Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said.

"The only thing missing in there is a hot lady".

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