Hurricane Florence Pummels NC Coast With Heavy Surf, Storm Surge

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

Forecasters said Florence's eye could come ashore early on Friday around the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Tens of thousands were without power.

He said: "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience". "To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place". Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Hundreds of residents were trapped in cars, on roofs and in their attics in North Carolina city of New Bern, which was flooded by the Neuse River.

Governors in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia have issued mandatory evacuations and lane reversals.

US President Donald Trump has authorised emergency measures to free up federal funds to help those responding to the storm.

About 800 flights in the region have been canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com. He said all roads leading to his neighbourhood were blocked by fallen trees.

As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.

The hurricane, whose strength has been compared to a direct hit by Mike Tyson, advances with maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometres per hour.

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A tree fell on a homeowner's auto, parked in the driveway as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.

Frustrated after evacuating his beach home for a storm that has since been downgraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a hotel in Wilmington several miles inland.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74. "I've got four cats inside the house".

Authorities pushed back against any suggestion the storm's threat was exaggerated.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's approach said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave.

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