Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Olive Hawkins
September 15, 2018

Hurricane Florence claimed its first victims Friday afternoon, when two people died after a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina, police said.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very risky winds". Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers. "To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place".

Adding to concerns, forecasters warned the larger and slow-moving storm could linger for days around the coast, leaving many without power and supplies.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of anywhere from 1 to 3½ feet as the storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here, but these are the early warnings of the days to come", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters just before the hurricane made landfall.

Hurricane Florence rolled ashore in North Carolina with howling 145km/hr winds and terrifying storm surge of almost 4m early Friday (local time). Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph). The system is expected to bring its gusty winds, which extend some 140 miles from its center, and heavy rains to the Azores, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the North Carolina-South Carolina coast would last for hours and hours because the hurricane had come nearly to a dead stop at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday.

At least 12,000 people had taken refuge in 126 emergency shelters, Cooper said, with more facilities being opened.

Hurricane Florence will bring
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Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing. Authorities have advised people, however, to move to higher levels in their homes while they wait to be rescued.

WXII-TV reported that 150 people were waiting to be rescued from rising waters in the city New Bern. However, as the storm continues to track south, rainfall totals could increase.

As of 4 a.m., Florence was 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 68 trillion litres of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

"The water looming over Dr. Navarro is a brilliant way of showing the dangers of storm surge".

More than 370,000 people were without power in North Carolina early on Friday, state officials said. "A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently recorded 6.3 feet of inundation".

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to around 144 km/h by nightfall. Its slow movement meant...

We are more inland from the coast.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

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