Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Carolinas brace for Florence

Carolinas brace for Florence

A fallen tree lies atop the crushed roof of a fast food restaurant after the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia.5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches.

The station, WCTI, is based in New Bern.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding.

But these winds combined with a giant storm surge and deluge of rain are brewing havoc along the coast.

The 63-year-old former firefighter says he was able to sleep through the torrential rain and thrashing winds when then-Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, only waking up to texts he received at 7 a.m. from friends checking up on him.

The station later tweeted, "Little rough, but we're all out". Every coastal city along the Gulf or East Coast of the US is at risk of storm surge, the hurricane center said. By Monday the storm, eroding toward becoming an extratropical low, will move north across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee as it moves up the Appalachian Mountains - potentially dumping even more rain in the Ohio River watershed, where rivers are already high from moisture carried north by the remains of tropical storm Gordon.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

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American and Southwest Airlines were among the carriers canceling flights to and from the hurricane zone starting Wednesday. North Carolina is the country's leading producer of tobacco, second-biggest producer of hogs and a major poultry producer.

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"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's going to get worse", he said at a news conference in Raleigh.

"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said. A fourth person was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said. They were surrounded by powerful storms with cloud tops as cold as minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius). The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris.

As a result, Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel is making a big splash ― but probably not in the way he'd like.

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

Utility officials say almost 900,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas on Friday and more were expected to lose power.

Experts said this could be the strongest storm to hit the Carolina coast in more than 60 years. We know how to manage expectations.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.

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