"Once In A Lifetime" Hurricane Florence Weakens, Begins Lashing Eastern US
14 September, 2018, 15:07 | Author: Darnell Taylor
Keith Beavers, a farmer in Duplin County, North Carolina, was rushing on Thursday to harvest as much corn as he could ahead of the storm.
The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter. That's on top of the flooding, flying debris, and the other immediate storm-related events that can claim countless lives. There are about 150 people waiting to be rescued.
At a press conference Thursday morning, officials stressed that Hurricane Florence's wind speed may have fallen, but the danger has not. Flooding from rain and rising rivers also was reported in New Bern. City spokeswoman Colleen Roberts tells WRAL-TV that 200 people have already been rescued.
With recent official reports finding that last year's Hurricane Maria claimed almost 3,000 lives in Puerto Rico-an assertion that re-emerged onto the national spotlight Thursday after President Donald Trump, without providing evidence, alleged that those estimates were artificially inflated and politically motivated-it's worth exploring what it is that ultimately kills people, including the most vulnerable, when a hurricane strikes.
Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.
As of 4 a.m., Florence was 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
It was forecast to make landfall mid-day Friday near Cape Fear, North Carolina, bringing up to 40 inches (1 meter) of rain, and storm surges as high as 13 feet (4 meters), the NHC said.
Hurricane Florence begins to batter United States east coast
As if the storm itself is not unsafe enough, it is expected to spawn tornadoes in southeast North Carolina on Thursday and Friday. More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.
The NHC went on to say that a few tornadoes could form in eastern and southeastern North Carolina into Friday.
The centre said that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 1.92 metres of inundation. "All across the state of North Carolina and portions of SC, there will be extreme flooding or major flooding at least for a number of days to come". Its forward movement increased slightly to 6 miles per hour (9 kph).
HO/AFP/Getty Images In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the USA east coast as seen from the International Space Station.
"We're still going to get catastrophic inland flooding from heavy rains and multibillion-dollar storm-surge damage along the coast where it hits, " said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.
As of 2 a.m., Florence was centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
There are fears that this storm could cause damage similar to what Houston suffered during Hurricane Harvey previous year, when homes and businesses were inundated with floodwater.
Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.
In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were told to flee. "We have a safe basement and generator that comes on automatically". Hurricane categories only consider the wind speed, Silverman said, and "a hurricane is so much more than just the wind".
She packed up what she could and took a ferry Tuesday night. "We made it then and I know my small town can pull it together now". Up to 1.7 million people have now been ordered to leave their homes as the United States braces for Hurricane Florence .
Duke Energy has around 4 million customers in North and SC , and says it could take several weeks to restore the electricity. Across several eastern states, residents scrambled to leave as the Category 4 storm, with winds of 225kmh, approached.
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On Tuesday, the so-called spaghetti models that show various potential paths for a storm had more variability. But in Maryland, possible impacts were diminishing as the storm's track shifted to the south and west.
Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. Florence is expected to arrive in southeast North Carolina on Friday morning before drifting south into SC .
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