Hurricane Florence: South Carolina vs. Marshall matchup canceled due to storm

15 September, 2018, 06:40 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • S Coastal cities brace for Hurricane Florence

Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14. At 7 a.m. EDT, the slow-moving storm was progressing forward at 6 miles per hour.

Numerous calls are from residents who are trapped in their homes, some of whom reported floodwater rising up to the second floor.

Cooper said Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

"The time to prepare is nearly over", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a morning news conference.

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.

"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 200kmh winds on Thursday, but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, but stronger wind gusts have been reported.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the ports of Wilmington and Moorehead City in North Carolina and restricted port operations in Charleston, South Carolina. "Surviving this storm with be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience". Gov. Roy Cooper warned, describing day after day of disastrous weather to come.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

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People fleeing coastal North and SC clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down for a direct hit in the low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

Authorities said more than 60 people, including many children and pets, had to be evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been forced to evacuate as Hurricane Florence battered the eastern coast of the U.S., including more than 3,000 prisoners who have been relocated from jails in the path of Florence. Winds knocked down trees all over. Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

The center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern SC on Thursday night and Friday, the NHC added. "This surge is also likely along portions of the SC coast".

The damage occurred even though Sandy spun ashore as the equivalent of only a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 80 miles per hour, and was downgraded below hurricane status shortly thereafter.

"It's a very risky storm", Federal Emergency Management Authority administrator Jeff Byard said.

And they say people who are truly in an emergency should call 911, not just Tweet about it.

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