Eyewall of Florence slams Carolinas as Cat-1 hurricane

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

"Follow advice from [your] local government officials", reads the latest update from the National Weather Service in Charlotte.

Hurricane Florence has arrived.

CNN's not the only media outlet with reporters in the way of Florence, delivering scoops on what rain and wind look like.

"It's probably going to take another 24 hours" for Florence to pass through the Wilmington region, Reid Hawkins, science officer with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said at 5 a.m. Friday.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge whipped the coast Thursday to begin an onslaught that could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded. "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience". An additional 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Prisoners were affected, too.

At least 150,000 people were without power in North Carolina early Friday with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to utility companies.

Although several communities along the coast had mandatory evacuation orders, many people still chose to stay behind, putting them in a prime position to shoot and post videos of the terrifying onslaught. As serene as the images are, it's hard to imagine what conditions are like in the storm and on the water under it.

More news: Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

Russell Meadows, left, helps neighbor Rob Muller board up his home ahead of Hurricane Florence in Morehead City, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.

Coastal streets were inundated with ocean water, causing damage to dozens of homes and businesses, officials said. South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

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.

Georgia joined North and South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland in issuing an emergency declaration as forecasts showed Florence dumping historic amounts of rain - potentially 37 trillion litres - on the southern states.

A siege of hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge is hammering the Carolina coast as Florence is expected to soon make landfall in North Carolina, causing a life-threatening storm surge.

Hurricane Florence hit the south-east coast of the U.S. last night with winds of up to 90mph and a storm surge of 10 feet.

The storm has sustained wind speeds of 90 miles per hour, and a total of 40 inches of rain could fall over the next few days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey previous year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater.

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