Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 14, 2018

Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach at around 7:15 a.m. EST.

Before dawn on Friday, authorities had been forced to rescue more than 60 people in Wilmington, some who had ignored evacuation orders.

The powerful storm inundated coastal streets and left tens of thousands without power.

Most ominously, forecasters said the terrifying onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 6 mph (9 kph) and still drawing energy from the ocean.

Hurricane Irma destroyed Kathy Griffin's house in Florida previous year, and it could be days before she finds out whether Florence smashed her fifth-story condominium in Wrightsville Beach, where authorities said utilities could be out for days or weeks.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said. "We are stuck in the attic".

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre warned that Florence remained deadly because of its size and slow forward speed, even if its top sustained winds have dropped it to Category 2 status as a hurricane.

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

"Because of the slow movement of the storm, the rain is going to have plenty of time keep piling up", said Feltgen.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as Florence began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

About 400 Virginians are in shelters, Stern estimated.

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About 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did, officials said.

Federal agencies from the Army Corps of Engineers to the Environmental Protection Agency said they had people near the storm's path to help after the hurricane hit.

A North Carolina city situated between two rivers says it has around 150 people waiting to be rescued from rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said about 200 people have been rescued so far. He could not yet confirm whether there were injuries or fatalities. "We're able", he said.

The storm surge will be near and to the right of where the eye of the hurricane makes landfall.

Staff at the 500-acre zoo near Asheboro rushed Wednesday to move elephants, giraffes, chimpanzees and hundreds of other species indoors to protect them from the storm's predicted formidable winds and torrential rain.

Wilmington should be ready for a prolonged and devastating impact as Hurricane Florence roars over Southeastern North Carolina on Friday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds" along the North Carolina coast.

Flock said the back end of the storm, when it does arrive, is not expected to be as strong, so the area could avoid catastrophic wind damage and storm surges.

FEMA's first priority after Florence passes will be getting infrastructure that's critical to communities' well-being up and running, Long said.

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