'Historic storm' lashes Carolinas with heavy rain, floods

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 15, 2018

Hurricane Florence's outer edges have started to batter the coast of North Carolina - with winds of 100mph bending trees and shooting frothy seawater onto the streets.

Image: Waters come ashore in Avon, North Carolina. Heavy rainfall began after dark.

The center of Florence is expected to approach the coasts of the Carolinas today and move over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC tonight and Friday. The eye of that hurricane merely grazed the coast.

Even worse: Florence is expected to hover over the Carolinas, whipping hurricane-force winds and dumping relentless rain at least through Saturday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state.

Even though Florence has weakened to a Category 2 system with winds of 165 kilometers per hour, forecasters say the storm remains a destructive force.

Panovich: The thing about hurricanes is the number one killer is storm surge and water. "Today the threat becomes a reality", he said.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm approached, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Pentagon officials said about 7,000 service members, including 4,000 National Guard personnel, were positioned for the storm and thousands more were prepared to deploy if needed.

That's because the area covered by hurricane-force winds recently doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds topping 73 miles per hour.

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Ken Graham, the director of the NHC, said: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm".

Why isn't the downgraded storm less of a threat?

After criticism for its response in Puerto Rico to last year's Hurricane Maria, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.

"You could be putting your life and the lives of first responders in danger".

Airlines canceled about 1,200 flights and counting, and some airports in the Carolinas virtually shut down.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall around Wilmington on Friday morning.

Browning's choice to stay in the hurricane warning zone wasn't easy, she said, but she "could not find anywhere to go". "Because it's Mother Nature". Catastrophic river flooding and flash flooding will occur for a large portion of eastern North and SC. That's enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.

About 10 million people live in the path of the slow-moving storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm comes it will bring everyone together".

The City of Myrtle Beach, Horry County and other surrounding areas have implemented a curfew beginning Thursday night as Hurricane Florence begins to impact the Grand Strand. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

This video was shot at the Fish Heads Bar & Grill pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, and shows rough surf ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall.

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