Hurricane Florence lashes Carolinas in USA, causing floods

Howard TerrySep 15, 2018

The USA's National Hurricane Center has said the enormous Hurricane Florence is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.

A long stretch of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard remained vulnerable to hurricane and tropical storm conditions, from Georgia north through the Carolinas into Virginia.

The center was located about 325 miles (520 km) east-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet, he said.

The center of Florence, a Category 2 hurricane, will approach the coasts of North and SC on Thursday, the NHC said, adding that it was expected to weaken after it moved inland.

Overall, risky storm surge is possible all the way from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13ft were also forecast in some areas along with the possibility of tornadoes in North Carolina.

A "storm surge watch" is issued when flooding is possible, while a "warning" is issued when flooding is expected.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his visit would disrupt cleanup and rescue efforts.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and will make its "violent grind across our state for days", calling the storm an event that comes along only once every 1,000 years.

"Today is the time to get your preparedness actions complete", he said.

Hurricane Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday, knocking down trees and swamping streets with torrential rains and a powerful storm surge, before slowing to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

The likelihood that Florence will pound the coast for days not hours underscored flooding risks from both storm surge and rainfall measured in feet.

"All my staff are gone", Thompson said.

"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. "The building's solid and Buddha will protect us". "You can't stop Mother Nature". "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have minded staying here".

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coastline".

"While Florence has weakened below major hurricane intensity, the wind field of the hurricane continues to grow in size", the NHC said in its latest bulletin.

Some residents ignored calls to evacuate.

Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

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