Hurricane Florence: Carolinas brace for 'storm of lifetime'

14 Septembre, 2018, 16:08 | Auteur: Therese Cote

"We're still going to get catastrophic inland flooding from heavy rains and multibillion-dollar storm-surge damage along the coast where it hits, " said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A frankly terrifying reminder, at that.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

Because a large section of the storm will remain over the water, and it's even possible the center drifts back over the ocean, its weakening will be very slow on Friday.

Meanwhile, Facebook groups such as Hurricane Florence 2018 Jacksonville, NC stepped up to connect evacuees with people willing to pay for their gas or offer spare bedrooms - or in one case, trampolines - where they can stay.

In addition, hurricane-strength winds are predicted to batter everything in the storm's path.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

The storm was downgraded from a category 4 on Thursday to a category 2, but its massive size (about 400 miles wide) and the storm surge it is bringing with it was expected to hammer the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, and perhaps even Georgia.

Virginia and Georgia are also under states of emergency, but it's North and SC that are positioned to suffer the worst of the storm's wrath.

Forecasters said it appears the storm will make landfall somewhere around Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, which sits just east of Wilmington.

Being such a small number, first responders have made clear to them the situation when the storm makes its expected complete landfall by 8 a.m. Friday morning.

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More than a million people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) have warned that failure to do so could be potentially deadly. A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm, is slowly approaching the US coast, and the storm's massive fury is on full display in video footage taken from the International Space Station. As the slow-moving storm moves over the Carolinas, it could pummel towns with more than 3 feet of rainwater. "We just want prayers from everyone".

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

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, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

A weather station at a community college recorded a 100 miles per hour wind gust, and forecasters tweeted that a 91 miles per hour wind gust slammed into Wilmington's airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.

A view of Hurricane Florence is shown churning in the Atlantic Ocean in a west, north-westerly direction heading for the eastern coastline of the United States.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", he said.

A crew of zookeepers, veterinarians, and park rangers will ride out the storm with the animals.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

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    The National Weather Service issued a tropical storm warning for Wake, Johnston, Chatham and Nash counties shortly before 5 p.m. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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    He urged people to stay off roads during peak storm conditions and warned against driving through standing floodwater. Even if Florence were downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, it would still cause extensive damage , Abrams says.
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