Hurricane Florence's catastrophic flooding is a sign of what's to come

Gwen Vasquez
September 16, 2018

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident. "The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries".

County officials said there is a high probability the banks of the Cape Fear River will overflow at a level higher than what occurred during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

The hurricane is massive: at 400 miles wide, its hurricane-force winds stretch across a 160-mile span, as ABC reported.

"They've been out there for about six hours now just screaming for help", she said. It's the sheer volume of water, in the form of tidal surges, rain, and anticipated flash flooding that make this Category 1 storm unusually risky. While it had weakened significantly since peaking as a Category 5 storm in the Atlantic, the heavy rain bands and slow movement have caused catastrophic flooding and storm surge along the coast.

A North Carolina TV station had to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of Hurricane Florence coverage as floodwaters surrounded the building.

Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

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Dozens have already been rescued in New Bern.

In the besieged city of New Bern, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by midmorning, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern 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.

Tornadoes are also possible in the eastern North Carolina area according to the NHC, as wind and rain impact land.

"It's like a bomb has gone off", Zaytoun told "Good Morning America" Friday.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest. It's moving north-northeast at 18 miles per hour.

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The crash happened just after 9:30 p.m. and Lee was reportedly wearing a seatbelt and the only one in the vehicle, according to Capt. Kelley Hughes with South Carolina Highway Patrol.

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