Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Florence Makes Landfall as Category 1 Hurricane in North Carolina

Florence Makes Landfall as Category 1 Hurricane in North Carolina

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that "disaster is at the doorstep" and pleaded with residents and tourists alike not to underestimate Florence's threat to life. Others could only wait and hope someone would come for them. That's about half the amount Hurricane Harvey - the largest rainfall event in US history - dropped on the greater Houston area past year. Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast.

Hurricane Florence crashed into the Carolinas as a giant, slow-moving storm on Friday, threatening catastrophic flooding while leaving scores in need of rescue from rising waters and hundreds of thousands without power.

The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood warning for the Peninsula, including Williamsburg, James City County and York County, as Hurricane Florence nears landfall in the Carolinas. As of 1 p.m. ET, the storm's sustained winds dropped to 75 miles per hour as it wobbled west-southwestward near the coast, delaying its expected move inland, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hours before the storm made landfall September 14, workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 had to abandon their studio.

The eye of the storm recently hit North Carolina, with the category 2 hurricane expected to make landfall imminently.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., at 7:15 a.m. ET, creeping slowly ashore - but bringing strong winds, a massive storm surge and a rain system that will soak much of the state and SC for days.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

"Even a small prediction error could have major impacts", he said.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. That's high enough to cover a house not on stilts.

By hovering over the warm water in the Atlantic Ocean, the storm is being nourished.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding. Traffic lights out of order because of power failures swayed in the gusty wind.

If winds pick up beyond 40 or 50 miles per hour, ravens and eagles will me moved to a holding area, and pink-back pellicans and white-breasted cormorants may be moved to the indoor section of the zoo's Penguin Coast exhibit. Airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

In Jacksonville, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the cinderblock structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said about 200 people have been rescued so far.

Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.

About 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did, officials said. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

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