Tracking Hurricane Florence as storm lands in North Carolina

Modesto Morganelli
Settembre 16, 2018

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (three meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages.

The Florence center is crawling inland over SC, but its main rain bands are hitting already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.

Officials in North Carolina's Harnett County, about 90 miles inland, urged residents of about 1,100 homes to evacuate because the Lower Little River was rising toward record levels. More than 1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders, with more than 10 million people under storm watches or warnings.

North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land. "More than likely it's maybe a mindset of 'we've been through this before, '" he said.

In Kinston, a city southeast of Raleigh, two people died in the storm.

The triple punch of falling rain, rising rivers and coastal storm surges was already triggering catastrophic floods.

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline.

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute. The first units were expected to come online early next week in New Bern and Washington, North Carolina, according to Jack Frazier, the Baptist Men's disaster relief co-ordinator.

He said the storm had killed at least five people, but there were fears that number could rise. As of Saturday, Fayetteville has received 2.5 inches of rain but heavier rain are expected this afternoon, with more expected in the coming days, Doll said.

"You can walk faster than this storm is moving", said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got over 30 inches and counting, eclipsing the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches on the state.

People wait to be rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

With Hurricane Florence barrelling toward their home near Wilmington, North Carolina, Allison Hales Jordan and her husband boarded up their house, packed up their vehicle and headed to Walt Disney World in Florida with their two teenage children.

It was downgraded to Category 1 before coming ashore on Friday near Wilmington.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some 80 miles (130 km) away.

The White House said President Trump will tour areas affected by Florence next week, once it is determined that his visit will not disrupt rescue and recovery operations.

The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC. Although more than $740 million in federal, state and local funds have been spent to address Matthew's damages, state officials are still working to distribute $236 million allocated by the federal government previous year to help reimburse or pay for extensive home repairs.

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