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Over 895,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas

16 September 2018, 06:28 | Ross Houston

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Sgt. Nick Muhar from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion evacuates a young child as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens his home in New Bern N.C. on Friday Sept. 14 2018

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.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after stalking the coastline for days. The hurricane center downgraded Florence to a tropical storm later in the day. Hurricane Matthew sent more than 1.5 metres of water into their home in 2016, and the couple feared Florence would run them out again.

Florence made landfall on the East Coast Friday morning with wind speeds of 195 miles per hour.

"All roads in the state right now are at risk of floods", he said. But Florence has been a odd one since it materialized in the distant Atlantic and took an unusual path toward the mainland United States. Similarly, U.S. 501 would be the only way into Myrtle Beach.

Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio and his wife Danielle are stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and evacuated due to the hurricane. Pic.

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late last Friday.

CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

He earlier said the storm system "is unloading epic amounts of rainfall: in some places, measured in feet, not inches".

Major flooding was also expected to the east in Kinston on the Neuse River, expected to reach 27 feet by Monday, nearing a record 28.3 feet set during Hurricane Matthew. The page says service animals aren't barred from evacuation shelters, beaches shouldn't be used for sand bags, and evacuation orders aren't enforced by FEMA. "These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said. Electricity remained out for much of the city, known for its historic mansions, with power lines lying across roads like wet strands of spaghetti.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, it said.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites. It was expected to slowly move southwest into SC before turning north, forecasters said.

More than 300 volunteers from nine USA states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News.

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"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is unbelievable and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday.

"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said.

According to Gov. Cooper, rescue operations are underway across the state.

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

By Saturday morning the winds weakened to 50mph but the storm's slow speed means that communities in North Carolina are receiving a prolonged battering by torrential rain.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got more than 75 centimetres and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 60 centimetres on the state.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

Along with this projection, NHC warned of "life-threatening" storm surges and floods throughout both North Carolina and SC.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

"Hurricanes bring out a lot of good in people and also the worst in those few bad actors preying on homeowners whose most prized asset has been damaged", Jon Moore, spokesman for Florida's Department of Financial Services, told the Miami Herald following Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.



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