Saturday, 22 September, 2018

At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence

A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm. Credit Duke Energy
Angelica Greene | 15 September, 2018, 16:03

Rescue team member Sgt. Nick Muhar, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a young child as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens his home in New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

On Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, bringing extreme winds, surging seas, and huge amounts of rain to the coast.

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her.

He said "24 to 36 hours remain for significant threats" from heavy rain, storm surges and flooding.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

A warming climate also means that the atmosphere can hold more and more water vapor, fueling hurricanes with even more water that can fall on coastal areas.

"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.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

The Miami-based center says Florence is bringing "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

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More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing cinderblock motel at the height of the storm. Meanwhile, Florence crept across the border into SC overnight, with tropical storm force winds still extending 175 miles from the center.

The hurricane center predicts as much as 101 centimeters (40 inches) of rain for some parts of North Carolina. He said all roads leading to his neighborhood were blocked by fallen trees.

Rain bands with tropical-storm-force winds have moved onshore over the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway, he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington.

"Do you want to get hit with a train or do you want to get hit with a cement truck?" said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Across North Carolina, more than 65 school districts are closed, and almost all University of North Carolina system schools have cancelled classes.

More than a thousand flights have been canceled in advance of Hurricane Florence's arrival in the Carolinas, and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended as the region braces for impact.

Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.

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