Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Hurricane Florence Drowned a Riverfront 30 Miles from the North Carolina Coast

Hurricane Florence Drowned a Riverfront 30 Miles from the North Carolina Coast

The storm made landfall Friday at 7:15 a.m. ET just south of Wrightsville Beach - about 6.5 miles due east for Wilmington, North Carolina. But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end. Spending, meanwhile, fell more than 30 percent, or around $500 that week, and more than 65 percent on the day of landfall as businesses closed up shop and residents took shelter from the storm.

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com. People were stuck in their cars, attics and rooftops, waiting for rescuers in boats.

Maysie Baumgardner, 7, and her family sheltered at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as the hurricane filled the streets with floodwaters.

Footage shows a pier and a beach in Nags Head, North Carolina, being hit with heavy surf as the storm rolls into the area.

Winds and rain were arriving later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

But the size of the storm meant the path didn't really matter.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week. The shelter will open Wednesday night, but officials warn people going there to be prepared to be evacuate in the event of power loss. Emergency crews also rescued an Onslow family from their home where a tree fell through the roof, Jordan said.

The area is also experiencing some power outages.

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Coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and at least 510,000 homes and businesses were without power, almost all of them in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks.

The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.

Others, though, chose to stay at home and perhaps regretted their decision. Additional swiftwater rescue teams were on the way.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", tweeted the city of New Bern. "If God's coming for you, you can't run from him". "This water is through the first floor of your home, into the second", Navarro says.

An officer inspecting the Triangle Motor Inn found a "basketball-sized hole" in a corner room and firefighters said the building had suffered life-threatening structural damage. But these winds combined with a giant storm surge and deluge of rain are brewing havoc along the coast.

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