Hurricane Florence: Carolinas brace for 'storm of lifetime'

James Marshall
September 14, 2018

It added that the maximum sustained winds were 90 miles per hour.

North Carolina alone could see the equivalent of eight months of rain over two or three days, National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Locklear said.

Virginia and Georgia are also under states of emergency, but it's North and SC that are positioned to suffer the worst of the storm's wrath.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

402,000: The number of customers without power in North Carolina.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 90 miles per hour by nightfall. "That's the second story of a house", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning. "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

Just before 5am ET (10am BST) the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the eye of the storm was about to make landfall in North Carolina as hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated.

About 400 Virginians are in shelters, Stern estimated.

Prisoners were affected, too.

Some minor flooding was reported on the Outer Banks - barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina - and in some seaside coastal towns, as more than 110,000 power outages were reported statewide. He said only about 300,000 of the 700,000 people who live in the mandatory evacuation zone have left. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

Coastal streets were inundated with ocean water, causing damage to dozens of homes and businesses, officials said.

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The warning expires at 6 a.m. Sunday. Hurricane force winds extended 80 miles from the centre of the storm, while tropical storm force winds extended up to 195 miles.

Up to 40 inches of rain could fall in North Carolina.

But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the U.S. East Coast with hurricane-force winds for almost a full day.

Heavy rain, wind gusts and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence swamped the Carolinas as the massive storm crawled toward the coast, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf.

Huricane Florence was downgraded to a category one hurricane on Thursday evening but is still packing 90mph winds after slowing to 6mph.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year.

As the driving rain and pounding winds reached land Friday, a few of the locals who made a decision to ride out the storm reached for their cameras to capture Florence's fury from a firsthand perspective. Here's why this storm threatens not only the coast but millions of people inland.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles".

The forecaster initially said he would stay in the newsroom to keep viewers up to date, but less than 20 minutes later he was forced to get out of the building. Others were at home hoping for the best.

Another Wilmington resident said she does not want to leave because she is afraid to see what she would be coming back to. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically".

The effects of the storm will likely take their time getting to Central Maryland.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water in residential neighborhoods.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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