Hurricane Florence Reduces Its Intensity But Not Its Destructive Power

Alexander Gerst  European Space Agency

Hurricane Florence wasn't expected to make landfall until later Friday morning, but residents in coastal areas were already losing power as fierce gusts lashed the eastern edge of North Carolina. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid.

Earlier Friday, the Wilmington Police said they were responding to this incident. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Local authorities reported another death, in Pender County, when downed trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition. The highest numbers are being reported in New Hanover County.

Parts of North Carolina could see enough torrential rain to qualify as a thousand-year flood, said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

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The force of the fall created a large wave, resulting in a couple of small vessels in the vicinity being overturned. Coast guard officials told the Evening Standard that those hurt had not sustained any life-threatening injuries.


The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in the town of New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Both rivers overflowed their banks, flooding homes, stores and streets and trapping many people in their houses. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it".

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

The storm surge of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) will be "life threatening" and rainfall of up to 40 inches (101.6 cm) will mean "catastrophic" flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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He added that around 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters throughout the area.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long warned on Thursday that inland flooding could be deadly and the cleanup will take time and patience.

A fallen tree lies atop the crushed roof of a fast food restaurant after the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than one million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

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By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters. The United States Geological Survey recorded flood water 10.01 feet deep in the town of New Bern in North Carolina .


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