Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas, threatening record rainfall, punishing winds

More than 20,000 people are spending Friday night in shelters in North Carolina, as Hurricane Florence hits the state.

Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding.

"Houses. Trees", Holt said.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". Craven County officials said they responded to 200 calls for help.

The 63-year-old former firefighter says he was able to sleep through the torrential rain and thrashing winds when then-Hurricane Florence made landfall early Friday morning, only waking up to texts he received at 7 a.m. from friends checking up on him.

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Coastal streets flowed with ocean water, and more than 460,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.

Dawn Baldwin Gibson, 47, a minister and private school founder who lives on a farm closer to the coast in nearby Pamlico County and runs a Facebook page about weather in eastern North Carolina, had evacuated to New Bern to stay with family, thinking it would be a safer spot. Looming as a Category 5 earlier this week, it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region.

No deaths have been reported in New Bern, but the situation caused by Hurricane Florence is dire, the mayor said. As of Friday morning, there were upwards of 20,000 people in 157 shelters across the state of North Carolina, and that number will only continue to climb as rescue efforts are now underway. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it". The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

Hurricane Florence lashes United States east coast, triggers flood warnings
It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend. He added that Hurricane Florence poses a challenge because it is expected to drift over hard-hit areas.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

Richmond, Va. -based Dominion Energy, which provides power in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, was reporting over 1,900 scattered outages. "We are totally prepared", Trump said at the White House.

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as one metre of rain.

As the climate warms, the way air moves through the atmosphere can become disrupted, possibly blocking these types of storms in place more often.

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