Hurricane Florence Now Hovering Near Cape Fear

Hurricane Florence Is Dumping a Huge Amount of Rain on the Carolinas

Although the hurricane has been reduced to category 1, its stall and massive size pose a threat of long durations of rain and wind.

More than 500,000 customers were without power, mostly in North Carolina, as the eye of Hurricane Florence went ashore near Wilmington and began its slow trek along the coast, according to poweroutage.us.

"We have completed all of our water rescues & want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who helped us save lives". We know how to manage expectations. "I made sure ahead of time that we had adequate space for anybody that wanted to try that".

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

Since 1950, the center of 24 tropical systems (tropical storms and hurricanes combined) have either directly hit Wilmington, North Carolina have come within 25 miles of Wilmington.

Ken Graham, the NHC's director, warned the slow pace of the storm exacerbated its danger even to areas outside its immediate path.

The river swamped the town after Hurricane Matthew came through two years ago: One church parishioner drowned during that storm, more than 700 families were displaced from their homes, and two of the city's largest public housing projects were destroyed, Foreman said.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity. "We were able to evacuate quite a few; some did not go", he said.

Parker says water levels in some areas of Craven County are already higher than levels from Hurricane Irene.

Travel on the state's roads has grown "extremely hazardous" and will get worse, said Jim Trogdon, the North Carolina transportation secretary.




"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's getting worse", Cooper said, calling Florence a "thousand-year rain event".

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.

"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said.

South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15 am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

At a hotel in Jacksonville, N.C. - about 60 miles northwest of Wilmington - about 70 occupants, including an infant and other children, were evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn after hurricane-force winds collapsed portions of the hotel's roof. In order to combat any outages, Duke Energy has gotten more than 10,000 of their own employees on standby and requested and received assistance for more than 2,000 workers from other states not being hit by the hurricane.

Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. "There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm". "I said, no I got to go".

By 5 a.m., about 200 people had been rescued from flooded homes in New Bern, where the National Weather Service reported 10 feet of inundation. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

Once the center moves inland, the intensity of the hurricane is forecast to decrease, according to a forecast discussion posted on the NHC's web site.

But forecasters say Florence's biggest threat, as with all hurricanes, lies in its water: a storm surge of up to 11 feet and rainfall that will trigger catastrophic flooding.

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