Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

More than 480,000 without power in NC as Florence makes landfall

More than 480,000 without power in NC as Florence makes landfall

Meanwhile, CBS affiliate WNCT reports that more than 60 people, including an infant and children, were rescued from a hotel in Jacksonville, N.C. after strong winds threatened the structural integrity of the building.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to more than 700,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn't near an end.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

The NHC said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as Florence neared shore and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said the heavy rain could trigger landslides in the west of his state.

"With this storm, it's a (category 1) but the storm surge and the flooding is going to be that of a category 4", says CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

New Bern, a city of about 30,000 residents, has been under a mandatory evacuation order since Tuesday.

"We got a little bit of water inside, but things weren't so bad", Church said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning on the North Carolina coast, with its strong winds and blinding rain having already driven risky storm surges of several feet into nearby beach and river towns.

Florence is still expected to stay at Category 1 strength with winds above 74 miles per hour until Saturday afternoon. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

A woman reacts after a large tree fell on a house in Wilmington N.C. as Hurricane Florence hit the area Friday. One man was taken out of the home in critical condition
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Debris from Hurricane Florence covers a street in downtown New Bern, North Carolina. This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

Catastrophe risk modelling specialist CoreLogic has released an updated loss estimate for Hurricane Florence, putting insured property losses for both residential and now commercial properties at between $3 billion and $5 billion.

The center of the eye of the hurricane made landfall in Wrightsville, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward just south of Wilmington. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water, he calculated.

Remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia...5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches.

Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come.

A weather station at a community college recorded a 100 miles per hour wind gust, and forecasters tweeted that a 91 miles per hour wind gust slammed into Wilmington's airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago. Those closures have resulted in about 100 canceled flights at Charlotte by main carrier American Airlines, but American has not started mass cancellations locally.

Cheryl Browning, who lives with her husband and son in North Carolina, said they chose to stay put despite the warnings as they also have three dogs and three parrots. The rains are anticipated to continue for days, and flooding is likely to worsen as more rivers spill over their banks.

At 2 a.m. Friday, the city tweeted an ominous message, saying at least 150 people were awaiting rescue. We were forced to have conversations with these people and say hey, do you by chance live in a two-story home?

GoFundMe has verified a campaign for Task Force 75, a team of veterans who have brought boats and supplies to Wilmington, North Carolina, to help with search and rescue operations for people and animals. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

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