Hurricane Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

Federico Mansilla
Setiembre 15, 2018

The National Hurricane Center said Florence came ashore near the town of Wrightsville Beach, almost 10 kilometers east of the city of Wilmington, with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and higher gusts.

Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.

Cooper said Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days". "We will have catastrophic effects".

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 68 trillion litres of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

How many people will it affect?

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m. "We were anxious about the hurricane, had it continued to be as strong as what they were originally stating". We have steps on the sides of the house so it's a few feet off the ground anyway.

"We have been up here for like three or four hours", Perry added, "and there's no windows up here in the attic, so I put a light in the window so they would know someone's here". As of 2 p.m., the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, N.C., and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Officials have assured them they will be rescued by FEMA teams who are ready to do swift water rescue. But there are still untold numbers of people who are still in their homes - and they may need help soon.

As Hurricane Florence crashed onto the Carolinas, federal emergency teams prepared themselves to work on a long process of rebuilding the storm-battered landscape it would leave behind.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

The center said the threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days.

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Forecasters expect Florence to hit the Carolinas early in the morning on September 14.

In April, The State newspaper in Columbia reported that an Army investigation had faulted Fort Jackson officials' handling of a 2015 storm that caused an 80-year-old earthen dam to crumble and release 100 million gallons of water.

The fresh water flooding will also be a major issue as the storm moves inland.

Hurricane-like conditions are expected to arrive in the areas covered by warnings by Thursday night or early Friday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

Rescue helicopters and trucks that can navigate floodwaters are also standing by.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia. The aerospace company suspended operations following evacuation orders.

After all that, what is left of Florence will turn north towards Rochester.

"We've got to quickly understand the damage that's been done to the transportation systems, the communication systems, the power systems, and we are positioning, and have bene positioned for multiple days now, to get those critical lifelines back up and stable as quickly as we can", he said.

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

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