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

National Hurricane Center Updates Current Status of Tropical Storm Florence

National Hurricane Center Updates Current Status of Tropical Storm Florence

A day after blowing ashore with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Florence practically parked itself over land all day long and poured on the rain.

As the United States dealt with Florence, a strong typhoon tore across the northern tip of the Philippines, killing at least three people, wrecking homes and triggering landslides before heading toward Hong Kong and southern China.

One of the towns worst affected is New Bern, which sits between the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 840,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

In South Carolina, some 36,000 customers are without power, officials said.

"If it rises any higher, I'll break out the jon boat and go somewhere", said Watson, 62, a retired building inspector.

Heavy rains and storm surge created destructive flooding of several feet throughout the Carolina coast.

A woman and her baby were among the first casualties, when a tree fell on their house, contributing to a death toll that USA media said had reached 13 - 10 in North Carolina and three in SC, according to CNN.

At 2300 EDT (0300 GMT), the NHC said Florence had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km), and was slowly drifting westward over SC. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities. As of noon, Emerald Isle had more than 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot (30 centimeters).

"Honestly, I'm not sure" why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina's Onslow County, told "Good Morning America" on Saturday.

Rivers and creeks rose toward historic levels, threatening flash flooding that could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday evening, and the National Weather Servicesaid early Saturday that it was "slowly weakening". But with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina.

Heavy rains: Up to 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) falling on seven states over seven days, as much water as there is the entire Chesapeake Bay.

On Saturday, its streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

Grounded: More than 2,400 flights canceled.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out as the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble. The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to overrun their banks, possibly flooding cities and towns.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted during the height of the storm.

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