More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Jan Cross
September 17, 2018

"Especially for people that we've already told to evacuate". Heavy rainfall began after dark.

"On a scale of one to 10, I'm probably a seven in terms of worry, she said".

"One minute we're at a high state of alert, the next we're at a low state, but we can adapt to the situation", said Capt. Eric Abdullah, of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office, who said officials were trying to stay flexible.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat. "We will know a lot more in two days and you will still have two day to get ready - so don't empty the shelves yet". The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for the area starting Saturday at 8 am through Tuesday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state. Area colleges canceled classes but most will keep food service and health centers open, and some ordered evacuations from dormitories.

Southeastern coastal North Carolina and far northeastern SC are expected to get pelted with 20 to 30 inches of rain, and some isolated spots may get up to 40 inches in 48 hours.

Associated Press story by Johanthan Drew.

The shelter had been set up in a school and was offering temporary refugee from the elements to around 400 people on Thursday, although it had a capacity for up to 1,200 in the popular seaside resort.

Hurricane Florence continues to expand in size.

The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

"Just because the wind speed came down, the intensity of this storm came down to a Cat 2, please do not let your guard down", warned Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life. The footage also shows floating debris and high winds. Some of the few people still left in Nags Head on the Outer Banks took photos of angry waves topped with white froth.

"The only reason we're still here is because we have a 7-month-old baby with us", she said. That is enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.

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The fear is that during that slow march west, it'll drop torrential rains, flooding low-lying areas and overwhelming rivers. During Hurricane Matthew in 2016 - North Carolina's last major hurricane - the state counted 4,071 people in 109 shelters .

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About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by what officials called a "once in a lifetime" storm. She said a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.

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

A mother and baby were killed after a tree fell on the family's Wilmington, NC house during the storm.

And yet another tropical storm formed in the Atlantic Thursday night.

Earlier Duke Energy said it expects between 1 million and 3 million customers to be without electricity at the height of the storm.

Hurricane Florence is not expected to make landfall until Friday morning but residents in coastal areas are already losing power as gusts lash the eastern edge of North Carolina.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out. Exactly how bad the storm surge will be with Hurricane Florence remains to be seen, but meteorologists for NBC News are predicting that it could be up to 13 feet-and that is higher than Hurricane Maria, which brought a storm surge of around nine feet to parts of Puerto Rico.

Some evacuees who've been displaced since Tuesday were increasingly growing impatient and anxious as reports about where the storm would hit, and how hard, have changed.

North Carolinians made last-minute preparations and hunkered down to await Florence's arrival. "I've got four cats inside the house". Fallen trees and freshwater flooding may require extensive cleanup, even if they don't damage clubhouses, equipment sheds or other infrastructure.

Some in the Carolinas have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated.

Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill said those violating the curfew without a valid reason will be subject to arrest, and City of Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea said a curfew violation is a misdemeanor offense in the city.

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