More than 80,000 without power in North Carolina as Florence moves closer

Jan Cross
September 15, 2018

It is expected to hit the coast with winds of 100 miles per hour on Friday, according to the latest U.S. National Hurricane Center report. A storm surge warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina. Heavy rainfall began after dark.

Foster said she doesn't want to leave, when her daughter needs her the most.

Coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and at least 510,000 homes and businesses were without power, almost all of them in North Carolina, according to, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. Most other beachgoers were long gone. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing". "If you're told to go, you need to go".

But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and its likelihood of lingering around the coast for days - will bring life-threatening storm surge and torrential rains.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of sea water.

Speaking of Florence, by the 5PM update Thursday, Hurricane Florence remains a Category 2 with winds sustained at 105 miles per hour.

Although Florence has been downgraded from a category four to a category two storm, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plans to close, even if power is lost.

The Verge says the Weather Channel has partnered with augmented reality company The Future Group to create the videos, which use the Unreal Engine, a video game development platform seen in many popular games today.

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders held out hope of being rescued. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

"We've seen fatalities and deaths from tropical storms, from Category 1 storms and from Category 2 storms", SCEMD's Becker said.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico past year.

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Gillikin says the North Carolina Coastal Reserve stands ready to respond with whatever resources they can to help any animal suffering after the storm.

Schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia, airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied out.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. Some of the few people still left in Nags Head on the Outer Banks took photos of angry waves topped with white froth. "I'm a little bit scared right now", she said, "but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix". "Because it's Mother Nature".

Constable is 20-weeks-pregnant and is unable to evacuate because of her job at a nursing home.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said.

Meanwhile, lane reversals on US 501 in the Grand Strand ended at noon Thursday and reversals on I-26 ended Thursday night, allowing state police and transportation workers to get to safety before the storm hits.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a crawl - sometimes it was moving no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain. "Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km)".

Fox Business Network correspondent Jeff Flock reported live from the eye of Hurricane Florence in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

Is global warming to blame?

But previous research has shown that the strongest hurricanes are getting wetter, more intense and intensifying faster because of human-caused climate change.

"If you're going to leave. you should leave now because time is running out", McMaster said.

Why isn't the downgraded storm less of a threat?

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