Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

Florence 'unloading epic amounts of rainfall' in North Carolina

Florence 'unloading epic amounts of rainfall' in North Carolina

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

When Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Caroline, Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel was out in the storm reporting live.

To give a sense of the scope of inundation to come, the river's crest was expected at 19.1 feet, beating the record 17.9 feet set during Hurricane Matthew.

Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland, meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated.

"The shelves are pretty empty, and we don't expect our first truck until Sunday, maybe, if they can get through", she said.

Florence is moving slowly across eastern SC, and according to the National Hurricane Center is producing "catastrophic flooding over North and SC".

A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

A statue reaches above Florence's floodwaters in North Carolina.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 964,000 customers in that state and SC.

The Florence center is crawling inland over SC, but its main rain bands are hitting already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.

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The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you". The tree's massive size required special equipment from rescuers also battling winds and pelting rain to extricate them.

Mother, infant are first two confirmed deaths from Hurricane Florence
Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast. It's about the water, not the wind, with Hurricane Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.

Hurricane Florence path: Storm moves to SC - bringing CATASTROPHIC flood risk
The declaration also provides assistance to local governments for cleanup efforts following the storm, including building repairs. The National Hurricane Center says the eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast.

He added that 20,000 people were being housed in shelters across the state.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse. We got thrown into mailboxes.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.

"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can't do anything", she said.

"The cost to SC, if that happens, if the storm continues the way it is going, could be in the billions", Dahler said.

Officials in SC said a 61-year-old woman died when her vehicle struck a tree that had fallen across a highway near the town of Union. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the New Bern authorities said on Twitter.

Rainfall totals for the storm will be similar to those in hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999, the National Weather Service's Chris Wamsley said. Duke Energy, the area's biggest utility company, said that figure could rise to three million and restoring power could take weeks. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 5 miles per hour.

As of 5 a.m., Florence was 25 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

The warmer air and water also makes storms more intense or stronger, Stott said.

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