Hurricane Florence unleashes wrath on USA, with worst yet to come

Olive Hawkins
September 14, 2018

An estimated 10 million people live in the storm's path, according to the US Weather Prediction Center, and coastal businesses and homes were boarded up in anticipation.

The Weather Channel produced a terrifying Hurricane Florence weather forecast using a visualization to show the horrifying reality of what 9-foot flood waters might look like in North Carolina.

In its 0300 GMT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the maximum sustained winds of Florence were 90 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour), dropping it to the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

She tweeted: "Wind Gusts at Wilmington Intl Airport reached 92 miles per hour, the highest wind gust since Hurricane Donna hit September 11, 1960".

Tens of thousands of structures are expected to be flooded by storm surge alone, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference on Thursday local time.

Don't relax, don't get complacent. Gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods.

The storm's surge, the rise in sea water above normally dry land at the coast, could reach up to 13 feet at peak. "I am frightened about what's coming. We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband. The main highway in the Outer Banks was closed in parts as seawater pushed in.

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A high definition camera outside the International Space Station captured a NASA view of Hurricane Florence on September 12, 2018 .

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The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, Sept. 13, 2018. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars.

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Residents wade through deep floodwater to retrieve belongings from the Trent Court public housing apartments after the Neuse River went over its banks during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in New Bern, United States.

Myrtle Beach, a SC beach resort, was virtually deserted with empty streets, boarded up storefronts and very little traffic. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life. An additional 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

FEMA's first priority after Florence passes will be getting infrastructure that's critical to communities' well-being up and running, Long said. Despite weakening to a Category 1 storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gives this ominous warning: "Don't focus on the category of the storm". "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths".

"We call them disasters because they break things", FEMA Administrator Brock Long told reporters while Florence was bearing down on the coastline.

Trump provided no evidence to support his challenge on Maria.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia - as well as the USA capital Washington. More trees will come down, more power lines will fall, and the number of power outages will go up, said Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center.

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