'Uninvited brute': Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas

Gwen Vasquez
September 16, 2018

In an update published at 5:33 a.m. ET on Saturday, the agency said that the storm is now striking SC and has a path through the in-land charted for the next few days.

Tropical Storm Florence hit the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast on Friday, triggering risky flooding, knocking out power in almost 900,000 homes and businesses, and causing at least eight deaths.

Police in Wilmington, North Carolina, near where the hurricane made landfall, said a mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their house. That rate is expected to accelerate as the oceans warm, sea water expands, currents weaken and polar ice sheets melt. The price tag on the rebuild efforts for areas devastated by storm surge, which was expected to reach as high as 20 feet in some areas, was still impossible to quantify.

About a million customers in the two states are without power, the New York Times reports.

Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged significant river flooding are possible in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and the southern to central Appalachias to western North Carolina to west-central Virginia and far-eastern West Virginia into early next week, the National Weather Service said.

- A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says. National Hurricane Center meteorologist Joel Cline said the mountains will wring water out of the moist tropical air: "It's like running into a wall, and that moisture has to go somewhere, and it goes up, creates rain, and you have torrential rain in that area".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

Members of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Force search a flooded neighbourhood for evacuees during Hurricane Florence in Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina.

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Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths. The great danger now, experts say, is river flooding.

Florence could become a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared past year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

A mandatory evacuation order has been put in place for anyone who lives within a mile of the banks of North Carolina's Cape Fear River and Little River. "It's making it hard for us to move valuable resources to areas in need".

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighbourhood during Florence's assault.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Cooper said in a statement. No insurance purchased right now could kick in fast enough to cover someone from a storm that's on top of them.

Dolphins have been seen swimming close to the shoreline in high water caused by Hurricane Florence.

The city of New Bern, North Carolina, reported more than 1,200 911 calls in a 12-hour span, and roughly 4,300 residences and 300 commercial buildings damaged.

Up to 40 inches (102 cm) of rain are expected along coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia, it said. "It's like are you gonna stay here or are we going to go ahead and leave?"

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