Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Record flooding as Florence rolls across Carolinas

Record flooding as Florence rolls across Carolinas

Florence plowed into the Carolinas and lumbered slowly inland on Friday, knocking down trees, gorging rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leaving five people dead before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

And cameras aboard the International Space Station managed to catch incredible footage just a few minutes after the storm's landfall.

The hurricane center's best guess was that Florence's eye would blow ashore as early as Friday afternoon around the North Carolina-South Carolina line.

Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina, but its crawling pace and overwhelming storm surges are setting up hours and hours of destruction and human suffering - with dozens desperately awaiting rescue in one flooded town alone. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and the rain and storm surge will make Florence extremely unsafe.

With one grueling day behind them, the Carolinas on Friday grappled with rising water and cascading misery from a deadly and agonizingly slow-moving Tropical Storm Florence expected to linger through the weekend.

Melody Rawson evacuated her first-floor apartment in Myrtle Beach and arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, to camp for free with three other adults, her disabled son, two dogs and a pet bird.

"It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted", the network said, according to AJC.

A video of a live segment of him in Wilmington, North Carolina, shows him bracing his feet on where he's standing, presumably so he won't be blown over during his segment.

Her husband went to see if he could assist them but the water was chest high, she said.

Why a weaker, Category 2 hurricane is still unsafe
At least 280,000 people are already without power as the outskirts of the storm lashed North and SC , and Virginia. The hurricane's surge could cover large swathes of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft (3.3m) of seawater.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said.

"A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, N.C., recently recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels", the National Hurricane Center said of the storm surge early Friday. It's unclear exactly how many people fled, but more than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles, the hurricane center said.

The New Bern Police Department tweeted early Thursday evening "City of New Bern officials are encouraging all residents to shelter in place due to Hurricane Florence". Flooding also hit the Bogue Sound near Beaufort, the Pungo River at Belhaven and the Pamlico River at Washington. They had heeded officials warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air. As the need arises, state and local emergency management officials are working to set up even more shelters where people can stay safe during and after the storm. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN.

4 a.m.: WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said that Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to move southwest at 5 miles per hour and has sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path. Forecasters are also warning of catastrophic inland flooding that could swamp homes, businesses, farm fields and industrial sites.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad. Jennifer Morales, 20, said there was 3 feet of water in her home.

"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", she said.

Like this: