Hurricane Florence begins to batter U.S. east coast

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.

Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds topping 73 miles per hour.

He spent the last few hours of calm before the storm visiting those who stayed, collecting contact information for their next-of-kin.

Holly Waters, 54, a retired special education teacher from Wilmington, said she was happy to have a place to go to relax before the storm worsened.

And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said.

North Carolinians made last-minute preparations and hunkered down to await Florence's arrival. On Wednesday, officials said some of those shelters were at capacity, but in a statement early Thursday, county officials said they were "able to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the need for shelter space".

But many other animals will be kept in barns. As of 5 a.m., its maximum wind speeds remain at 110 miles per hour as it started to ingest drier air, says FOX 13's meteorologist Tyler Eliasen, however, it also means Florence's wind field has grown larger.

If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

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Live from New Bern, #NorthCarolina a very #flooded scene there. Steve Goldstein with NOAA said the Pamlico Sound and the Pamlico and Neuse rivers were particular areas of concern.

More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia and thousands have moved to emergency shelters.

"Where 9 to 12 feet of storm surge are forecast and the beaches from the Outer Banks to the Wilmington area, 6 to 9 feet of storm surge are forecast over several astronomical high tide cycles", Goldstein said.

Even when the water is at six feet and over her head, Navarro says that she would not be able to stand and that there are likely dangers such as chemicals or exposed power lines in the water. Home Depot and Lowe's activated emergency response centers to get generators, trash bags and bottled water to stores before and after the storm.

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.

Antonio Ramirez, a construction worker from El Salvador living in Leland, North Carolina, said he planned to ride out the worst of the weather with his dog Canelo. The electricity provider says it began powering down one reactor at the Brunswick plant earlier this morning and would start shutting the second reactor later today.

Experts agreed that despite Florence losing some power, it was still poised to sow just as much destruction - if not more.

US carriers were also waiting to see what impact Florence could have on airports near Washington and in northern Virginia. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

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