Several dead, hundreds rescued as Florence pounds Carolinas

15 September, 2018, 16:02 | Author: Eloise Houston
  • Homes flooded by Hurricane Florence in Wilmington North Carolina

Later downgraded to a tropical storm, slow-moving Florence arrived over North and SC just after 7am local time on Friday, bringing torrential rain and severe floods.

Florence now huge, slow-moving tropical storm.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the US for the first time.

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 35 miles (55 kms) from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 170 miles (280 kms) out.

Heavy rain is expected to continue all day, and the northern coastline of SC is still under a storm surge warning, but the National Weather Service's latest flooding projections show less rivers forecast to reach major flood levels than previously thought.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold also captured Florence making landfall from his spot on the orbiting outpost.

He said the strongest of Florence's winds have likely passed, but that the storm's worst effects had just begun Friday.

Florence is anticipated to move slowly over eastern South Carolina Friday night through Saturday night.

By mid-afternoon the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the center was moving west at 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter). It also led many people to mock the reporter for his demeanor reporting on the storm.

The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.

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Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday evening with peak winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km/h). "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

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.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

As of now, American is still running its full schedule - except for flights to the cities near the storm, like New Bern and Wilmington, says American spokesperson Crystal Byrd.

More than 400 people had to be rescued from their homes or vehicles and some 20,000 were taking refuge in shelters across North and SC and Virginia.

For 62 years, Robert Faircloth has lived in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The mayor said at least 4,200 homes and 300 businesses sustained damage from flooding.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth".

At least four people have died, but authorities fear the death toll with increase as the storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.

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