Hurricane Florence in pictures: ‘1,000 year event’ storm LASHES US east coast

Frederick Owens
September 15, 2018

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - A group of firefighters in Wilmington, North Carolina, knelt and prayed outside the home where a mother and her infant died when a tree fell Friday.

The storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding. Rescue crews used boats to carry more than 360 people from rising water in the river town of New Bern, North Carolina, while many of their neighbors awaited help.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 950,000 customers in that state and SC. As the storm stalled, forecasters warned "torrential rains will come:" an additional 20 to 25 inches in eastern North Carolina and up to 15 inches inland.

Florence has already knocked out power to close to a million households in the Carolinas, with some areas not expecting to regain electricity for days.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

Two people in Lenoir County were killed: a 78-year-old Kinston man who was electrocuted when connecting extension cords in the rain and a 77-year-old man who was blown down by the wind when he went to check on his hunting dogs.

Government weather satellites captured this image of Hurricane Florence shortly after its landfall September 14, 2018. In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina into southwest Virginia.

The storm caused chaos in the region, with trees strewn across roads, buildings battered and power cut to nearly 700,000 homes. NEW BERN OVERWHELMEDIn New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge "overwhelmed" the town, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said.

On Thursday, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds (193 km).

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Mike Seidel was shooting a live segment in Wilmington, North Carolina for the Weather Channel.

"I actually think it is one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about", Trump said on Monday.

The rest of SC and North Carolina into southwestern Virginia will experience 5 to 10 inches, with isolated totals up to 15 inches.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday. It hit the coast as a Category 1 storm with 90 miles per hour maximum sustained winds, the NWS said.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter. About 210,000 people were staying in 170 shelters in the Carolinas.

Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of North and SC.

"The same places have seen all of this water, and the same places will see more water", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Saturday morning.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

Florence will move slowly Saturday, and pick up a bit of forward speed Sunday.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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