Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Hurricane Florence hours away from Carolinas

For almost two centuries, a historic home sat along a quiet stretch of Main Street here overlooking the Lumber River.

"This one really scares me", Graham said. They also have three dogs and three parrots. A few days later they returned, by boat, to find their home inundated with water - a total loss.

If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Even the thousands of emergency workers on scene - ranging from power workers to National Guardsmen to cops, many of them volunteers from across the country - could only sit and wait for Florence to do its worst before they could do their best.

The latest rainfall projections warn of 20 to 40 inches of rain from coastal North Carolina into northeastern SC - amounts that could bring "catastrophic flash flooding", the hurricane center said.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director. "Going on two years and here comes another hurricane".

How Is Hurricane Florence Affecting You?
At that point the storm was centred about 1,170 miles (1,880 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, the NHC said . Wind gusts topping 100 miles per hour are likely near and just north of where Florence approaches the coast.

The hurricane center said Florence would approach the coast on Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore. The air is holding 10 percent more water that can be dumped as rain.

Most of the businesses along Main Street are deserted.

Hurricane Florence's eye was slightly more than 100 miles from Wilmington, according to a 2 p.m. briefing by the National Hurricane Center.

Florence was downgraded to a category two hurricane, from a category four, but is still generating sustained winds of 105mph and according to the National Hurricane Centre, it is expected to cause "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall". Flooding from rain and rising rivers also was reported in New Bern.

"We lost power at home so we figured we should come to the bar", said Carla Mahaffee, a 33-year-old actor from Wilmington, as she drank a cider.

Hardin says it's been tough to watch the community struggle to bounce back. And yet Florence's eye is still well out to sea.

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He veered his auto "towards parked vehicles" before correcting himself and went through a red light, prosecutor Henry Fitch said. As he is such a big player and everyone expects something from every action, so his expectations are different'.

"You've got to live somewhere", she said.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach, vulnerable on a North Carolina barrier island, agreed that those who refused to leave were now on their own. He fled town with more than a dozen people piled in his pickup, only to find most of the roads blocked by standing water.

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

"This is no ordinary storm, and people could be without power for a very long time - not days but weeks", a president of one energy company in North Carolina said on Wednesday. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Governor Roy Cooper requested the added disaster declaration on Thursday (local time) because he anticipates what his office calls "historic major damage" across the state from the hurricane.

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Officers gave chase and the suspect pulled into a business, got out of the auto and shot himself, King said. He proceeded to run from the area and went to a nearby residence where he shot and killed two more people.

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