Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina

Jan Cross
September 15, 2018

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

"I'm anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.

People in areas vulnerable to the risky hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.

The coastal area of SC features hundreds of inlets while North Carolina has barrier islands miles away from the mainland.

In addition to the coastal flood warning, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Hampton Roads from Poquoson to the Virginia-North Carolina border because of Hurricane Florence.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition.

As Hurricane Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas, U.S. President Donald Trump Friday tweeted his support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), first responders and law enforcement, stating that they are doing an "incredible job".

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

Florence is about 644 kilometres wide and it's winds have dropped from a peak of 225 km/h to 165 km/h, reducing the hurricane from a terrifying Category 4 to a Category 2.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

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Even in downgrading Florence, which is expected to crash into the Carolinas late Thursday night or early Friday, the National Hurricane Center predicted "life-threatening storm surge", "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", and "damaging hurricane-force winds".

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the US electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm.

More than 722,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.

In the 5 a.m. ET advisory, Florence was 205 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, NC, packing maximum-sustained winds of 110 mph and moving to the northwest at 15 mph. Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water.

"We've rescued over 100 people in New Bern, N.C.; people from Jacksonville, N.C., had to rescued from a hotel", Cooper said, describing efforts to save people in towns north of Wilmington where high floods have already hit.

Thousands of people hunkered down in schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

The impact of Florence will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.

On Thursday, Trump faced criticism for disputing the official death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricanes Maria and Irma that hit past year.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and state of Virginia had been urged to evacuate. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

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