More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 15, 2018

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages.

The numbers are expected to soar as the storm's winds and torrential rains sweep over more land. Exactly how bad the storm surge will be with Hurricane Florence remains to be seen, but meteorologists for NBC News are predicting that it could be up to 13 feet-and that is higher than Hurricane Maria, which brought a storm surge of around nine feet to parts of Puerto Rico. Also, the hurricane-force winds and tropical storm-force winds have been expanding. These unforgiving winds will damage homes and buildings, down trees and knock out power.

Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm overnight on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale but it is still packing hurricane-force winds of 165 kilometres per hour (105 miles per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

But North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent". Widespread rainfall amounts could reach 152mm to 300mm, spurring flooding.

Georgia, east Tennessee, and extreme eastern Alabama will feel some of the rain and wind from Florence over the weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence closes in on North Carolina's coast with "life-threatening" winds.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was centered about 25 miles (35 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Luettich and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and University of Texas spent 30 years developing ADCRIC, a computer model that gauges storm surge and other impacts of major coastal weather events.

A category one hurricane is expected to produce "very risky winds" which "will produce some damage". A tropical storm warning covers the area from north of Duck to the Virgina Tidewater area. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

The surge will result in "large areas of deep inundation. enhanced by battering waves", the Weather Service said. When Hurricane Floyd attacked North Carolina in 1999, it didn't stall; Floyd was a fast-moving storm. The storm surge in some locations is going to set records.

As the last-minute evacuations and preparations of those who refuse to leave wound down, an eerie calm has settled over typically bustling Carolina cities. First off, additional weakening is unlikely until the eye comes ashore. That's what happens at landfall - the storm actually got bigger physically.

Its maximum wind speed has fallen to 90 miles per hour though some gusts are higher. Mathis wrote, "Here's the thing about tornadoes: they're here, and then they're gone".

"However they can topple unanchored mobile homes, as well as uproot or snap weak trees". High winds are less likely, too.

This vulnerable area has been under mandatory-evacuation orders since Wednesday night at 8 p.m., and those who are choosing to ride out the storm have been under a mandatory curfew since that time, to keep people inside.

In light of the powerful storm, at least 12 Division 1 college football games have been moved or canceled, according to the NCAA.

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