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giftedviz.com November 18, 2018


More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

15 September 2018, 12:20 | Ross Houston

According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimates up to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.

The storm surge that has hit New Bern is about 2 feet higher now than it was during Hurricane Irene seven years ago, according to the National Weather Service.

The No. 1 priority, he said, is to save lives.

Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 1.

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.

"It truly is really about the whole size of this storm", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham told The Associated Press.

The center of the storm will make landfall near Wilmington early Friday morning.

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. "And since we're already on high ground, those two things together kind of help insulate us a little more than, I would say, others".

While the storm's winds will abate as it moves inland, they could continue to gust to tropical-storm-force - especially near its core.

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Wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were reported at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, the hurricane center said.

As of 11 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) east-southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph).

Gov. Roy Cooper of the Tar Heel state announced a State of Emergency ahead of the storm making its way to the coast. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centres were moved out of the storm's path.

Municipal power agencies are reporting few outages, except New Bern, which had 17,820 customers without power, according to ElectriCities, the organization that supports the local power agencies.

Joyce, with winds extending about 35 miles from its center, is expected to tap the brakes a bit and turn eastward by Friday night, and then accelerate northeastward over the weekend. Florence dumped more than 20 inches on Oriental, N.C., the NHC said.

Authorities in New Bern said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.

Officials have assured them they will be rescued by FEMA teams who are ready to do swift water rescue.

Hurricane Florence began lashing the North Carolina coast on Thursday, with heavy surf pounding the Outer Banks and barrier islands, winds shredding flags, and a storm surge pushing seawater over some beaches and past oceanfront homes.



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