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

'Uninvited brute': Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas

'Uninvited brute': Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence is tearing through the Carolinas with disastrous flooding and record-setting rainfall. Fort Bragg, a sprawling US Army base, is just west of Fayetteville.

"It's getting worse", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said late Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Florence - continuing to weaken - moved slowly at 3 miles per hour west through the Midlands on Saturday, showering Lexington and Richland counties with 2-4 inches of rain and wind gusts at around 50 miles per hour, the National Weather Service of Columbia reported.

US power companies said more than 870,000 homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were without power on Saturday after Florence hit the Southeast coast.

"This storm has been hovering over us for a while, and we expect it to continue to hover over us", she said.

At first he thought the firefighters were there to help restore electricity, but when he saw police and paramedics arrive he knew it was something much more tragic.

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

With the center of the storm still at sea early Friday, scores of residents had to be rescued from homes and the tops of cars in New Bern, North Carolina.

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline, along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

In Kinston, more than an hour's drive inland from the coast, Lenoir County spokesman Bryan Hanks said a man was electrocuted as he attempted to connect extension cords outside in the rain.

A 77-year-old man was found dead at 8 a.m. Friday by his family at his home on Middle Street in Kinston.

At 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, NC, and about 55 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, SC, crawling west-southwest at 3 mph.

- A 77-year old man died after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown down, Hanks says.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, they were being helped by volunteers from the so-called "Cajun Navy" who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues. More ppl now face a threat than when the storm was offshore. "You're going to have flooding miles and miles inland", the center's director, Ken Graham, said.

As the Southeast begins to feel the impact of Hurricane Florence, more than 2,000 flights have been canceled and operations at airports along the coast have been suspended.

More than 1.7 million people in Virginia, North and SC were told to evacuate ahead of Florence's arrival. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. The NHC said that 18.5 inches of rain have fallen in Oriental, North Carolina; 14 inches in Surf City, North Carolina; 13.8 inches in Morehead City, North Carolina; and 13 inches in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolinas, forecasters said.

Storm surges of up to six feet were forecast for Belhaven, North Carolina, where this video was recorded on the night of September 13.

Gibson said she thinks some people couldn't afford to evacuate New Bern and others didn't heed evacuation warnings after Florence dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 1. "Nobody expected this", a rescued resident, Tom Ballance, toldThe Weather Channel.

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