Saturday, 20 October, 2018


Deadly Florence downgraded to tropical storm

Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas tears buildings apart Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas tears buildings apart The Associated Press 14 Sep 2018
Kristine Garrett | 15 September, 2018, 23:31

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning.

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Friday.

The monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to one meter.

Yesterday, the European Space Agency released a short video of astronauts aboard the space station watching the storm out of the cupola armed with powerful cameras to capture its giant knot of storm clouds.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the storm was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

Officials are warning that Florence could start to bring flooding inland over the next few days with catastrophic floods in some districts. One of the hardest hit areas so far is New Bern, North Carolina, where about 100 people are waiting to be rescued after more than 10 feet of powerful storm surge flooded the small city. Officials said flood waters from other areas are accumulating north of the county and filling the river basins beyond their capacities. A 61-year-old woman died Friday night when her auto struck a tree that fell during the storm, state emergency officials said.

Despite its weakened status to a tropical storm, Florence has deluged parts of the North Carolina coastline with torrential and historic amounts of rain. "Don't drive across standing or moving water", the governor said, urging people to heed evacuation orders. He added, with reference to the storm's glacial 2mph progress: "We know we're in for a long haul here". Officials in New Bern Friday morning reported storm surge as high as 10 feet. Along coastal communities, people trapped in homes by relentless flood waters awaited rescue, and tens of thousands hunkered down in shelters after fleeing their homes as the storm approached.

Kim Adams makes her way to her home that is surrounded by flood waters after Florence passed through the area on September 15, 2018 in Southport, North Carolina.

Five people, including a mother and her baby, have been killed by Florence, which was initially categorised as a hurricane with 120mph winds.

About 809,000 of those customers are North Carolina, and about 155,000 are in SC. Gigi Charlebois, owner of the Edenton Coffee House on the northern shore of North Carolina's Albemarle Sound, chose to stay with her family overnight in the shop's dining room, sleeping on couches, pull-out cots and a mattress. As of Saturday morning, a large swath of the Carolinas were still seeing up to 2 inches of rainfall every hour, and relief might not come for days.

The National Hurricane Center says the eyewall of Hurricane Florence is beginning to reach the North Carolina coast. That, and the storm's vast circumference of hundreds of miles, means Wilmington will be inundated with rain, the advisory said.

She said the shop, with an electric generator, was safer than their nearby home. Wind gusts of 105 miles per hour - the highest recorded since 1958 - were reported in Wilmington Friday morning. That should spell some relief for the inundated areas of Onslow county, but unfortunately puts the city of Wilmington, southeast coastal communities of North Carolina and northeast areas of SC in the line of fire instead.

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