Florida agencies, utilities poised to provide Hurricane Florence aid

15 September, 2018, 14:05 | Author: Lucy Floyd
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Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land the murkier its future gets.

Hurricane Florence is bigger than the state of North Carolina and four times larger than Ohio.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

It was the second such drop in the space of hours, but the Miami-based NHC stressed it remained "a life-threatening situation" due to the risks of storm surge around coastal areas.

The cone of probability for Hurricane Florence as of 11:00 p.m. EDT, Sept. 12, 2018.

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas.

Florence, for her part, shares similarities with Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Houston on August 25 of 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane and dumped record-setting amounts of rain.

About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.

The National Hurricane Centre warned there would be "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

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Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.

About 500 people had to be rescued in flooding early Friday in New Bern, which is about 30 miles north of Morehead City.

- President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged those living in the path of Hurricane Florence to comply with all evacuation orders and emergency instructions. "Little rough but we're all out", a tweet said.

And Florence will nearly surely depress auto production in SC, where Volvo already has closed a new factory near Charleston because it's in an area under mandatory evacuation orders, said spokesman Russell Datz.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it is unclear how many did. So far, floods as deep as 6.3 feet and wind gusts as fast as 105 miles per hour have been recorded. "(It's) called Mother Nature; you never know - but we know". Still, analysts for S&P Global Platts say it's possible the Colonial and Plantation pipelines could be affected by power outages or damage to pump stations.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power on Friday morning, according to poweroutage.us which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Hurricane Florence, weakened but still risky, crashed into the Carolinas yesterday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with flood waters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge. Most of the outages are in North Carolina, though several thousand are without power in SC.

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.

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