Near 440,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

He said: "Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

"I think I could survive a long time". The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and is moving slowly, at 6 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center while tropical storm-force winds extend 195 miles.

"Some say North Carolina is getting a break, but we are on the wrong side of this story", he said.

According to a report from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, extreme weather events like the one now battering the Carolinas and Virginia can have far-reaching effects on consumers' wallets, impacting their spending for months after the storm has cleared.

Gov. Cooper told Morning Edition that he expects flooding could get worse as more rain falls and that the state's No. 1 mission right now is "working very hard to save lives".

Along the coast, floodwaters have been hitting inland towns near rivers that normally discharge into the ocean.

Flood warnings on the Neuse at Kinston projected water levels climbing to a moderate flood level by Saturday and creeping close to major flooding through at least Wednesday.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who made a decision to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.

"From Wilmington to Charlotte, we'll experience between a 500-year and 1,000-year flood event", Trogdon warned in a late-morning briefing.

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland have declared states of emergency.

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An officer inspecting the Triangle Motor Inn found a "basketball-sized hole" in a corner room and firefighters said the building had suffered life-threatening structural damage.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said. If anything, we are more than likely going to have a power outage.

It won't be a hurricane at that point but could produce local flooding especially southeast of Rochester where the soil is still saturated following last week's rains from Gordon.

There's still a threat from rising tides, Risty-Davis says.

Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said. Beyond Friday's torrential rain, multi-foot storm surge and widespread power outages, Florence will continue to batter the region through early next week. Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

To prepare for this storm, businesses have been boarding up, and supplies have been readied for what is expected to be a large-scale relief operation.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. "This large-scale feature is expected to keep the hurricane moving northwestward today, followed by a turn toward the west at a much slower speed on Friday as the ridge to the north of Florence weakens due to a weak shortwave trough dropping slowly southward from the Ohio Valley". More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centres were moved out of the storm's path.

As of 4 a.m., Florence was centered about 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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