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Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:25 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:25 AM (IST)US DELUGE

Much of Carolinas awash after Hurricane Florence moves in

Slow-moving storm strands residents with floodwaters, no casualties
Much of Carolinas awash after Hurricane Florence moves in
Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home in James City. Reuters

WILMINGTON, September 14

Hurricane Florence, weakened but still dangerous, crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a dayslong deluge.

The hurricane’s storm surge — the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic — had “overwhelmed” New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. “The sun rose this morning on an extremely dangerous situation and it’s going to get worse," he said. “To those in the storm’s path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place.”

No storm-related deaths or serious injuries were reported in the hours immediately after Florence hit but authorities said more than 60 people, including many children and pets, had to be evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse.

The centre of the hurricane’s eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150 kph, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

Cooper said Florence was set to cover almost all of the state in several feet of water. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier island chain, already had received 30 inches of rain, the US Geological Service said.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted Florence would drop up to eight months’ worth of rain in two or three days. A tweet from the NWS said the storm would be “a marathon vs a sprint” as it hovered over the area dumping heavy rainfall. On the mainland in New Bern, next to the Neuse River, authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater. — Reuters


5 lakh homes without power

  • More than 485,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and South Carolina early on Friday, utility officials said. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks
  • Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore. But forecasters said its extreme size meant it could batter the US East Coast with hurricane-force winds 
  • About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia

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