NHC says Florence has weakened to a tropical storm
17 September, 2018, 12:54 | Author: Ann Santiago
A video of the moment has spread like wildfire online. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.
At first he thought the firefighters were there to help restore electricity, but when he saw police and paramedics arrive he knew it was something much more tragic.
HurricaneFlorence blew ashore in the USA state of North Carolina with howling 90 miles per hour (144 km/h) winds and terrifying storm surge early Friday, felling trees, splintering buildings, trapping hundreds of people and swamping entire communities along the coast.
As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.
A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, N.C. after a tree fell on a house there while the Category 1 hurricane throttled the eastern North Carolina coastline Friday morning.
NHC says Florence has weakened to a tropical storm
The father was also in the house and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment after the incident. Duke Energy expects between 1 million to 3 million homes and businesses to lose power.
"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.
Despite the downgrade the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that "life-threatening storm surges" would continue into the night, predicting "catastrophic freshwater flooding" over parts of North and SC.
The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.
The National Weather Service said flash flooding was expected to continue through the rest of Friday in New Bern and surrounding areas.
"I see the beach communities being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature".
"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region. North Carolina corrections officials said more than 3,000 people were relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers in the path of Florence, and more than 300 county prisoners were transferred to state facilities.
The town of Oriental, North Carolina, had gotten more than 18 inches of rain just a few hours into the deluge, while Surf City had 14 inches and it was still coming down. Other communities got well over 30 centimeters.
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Storm surge: Up to 13 feet, and seawaters could push inland 2 miles, depending on how long Florence lingers.
Inflatable Zodiac boats, all-terrain vehicles and mini-bikes are among the equipment some teams such as the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron brought in.
A crew of zookeepers, veterinarians and park rangers will ride out the storm with the animals.
The relationship between climate change and hurricanes is a complex one.
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In Holden Beach, North Carolina, in the storm's path, longtime residents were busy securing their homes and possessions. Ralph Northam applies to about 245,000 people, including parts of the Hampton Roads area and Eastern Shore.
Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the level-one yellow alert could be upgraded depending on the extremity of the storm. The storm is moving at 17 miles per hour to the west and has 60 miles per hour winds.
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