Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Florence could bring record rainfall to the Carolinas as it comes onshore

Florence could bring record rainfall to the Carolinas as it comes onshore

Power outages and flood-related damage to pumps caused by the hurricane will also disrupt pipeline operations, threatening petroleum supplies in this region. The number of people still not rescued fell to about 40 by Friday afternoon, according to New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw.

The National Hurricane Center warned the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rains could trigger landslides in the western part of his state.

In was 1989 when Hurricane Hugo pummeled the Carolinas, causing tremendous destruction - killing 21 people in the USA and 29 in the Caribbean and leaving behind an estimated US$8 billion in damage.

In its 0300 GMT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said the maximum sustained winds of Florence were 90 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour), dropping it to the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Florence's centre was about 40km east of Wilmington, North Carolina at 4am on Friday and moving west at 10km/h, the NHC said.

The storm is forecast to creep along the coast, dumping lots of water and lashing the area with winds.

More than 1.7 million people in Virginia, North and SC were told to evacuate their homes.

Hundreds of thousands were without power in the Carolinas late Friday. "A slow motion across portions of eastern and central SC is forecast Friday night through Saturday night". She said 61 shelters had opened thus far, including 12 that are specially outfitted to help people with special medical needs.

Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

A major natural disaster due to inland flooding will unfold slowly as Florence drifts inland and may linger for days and a week or more after Florence's eventual departure and/or demise.

Farther south, in Carolina Beach, the northern end of the town was being swamped as water crashed over the dunes. Hurricane-force winds and inland flooding also is a concern. "Our meteorologists are saying that the rainfall amounts will be devastating in certain areas", he said Thursday.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

In Shallotte, N.C., a coastal town near the border with SC, emergency orders forced a Waffle House to shut down - an act that was widely seen as a sign of respect for Florence's imposing size and strength.

About 800 flights in the region were canceled ahead of the storm, CNN reported.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort, and for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.

Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 4m of storm surge and unloading water on both states. By midnight, his rain gauge showed that he'd gotten 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain since midafternoon. Hurrican Helen, Tropical Storm Isaac, and Subtropical Storm Joyce are all churning.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date with Florence's expected track and impacts to the U.S.

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