Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

Wrightsville Beach 12 brace for Florence to fully make landfall

According to poweroutage.us, more than 500,000 customers in North Carolina and 50,000 in SC were without power on Friday morning, though the Weather Channel estimates up to 3 million customers could lose power in the Carolinas due to Florence.

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., September 14, 2018.

"On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 7" in terms of worry, she said.

The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour and is moving slowly, at 6 miles per hour.

It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said. The National Hurricane Center's forecast is for Isaac "to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave at anytime".

The storm has slowed down and is forecast to travel across SC after it makes landfall.

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Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave. A large tropical system, hurricane-force winds extend outward from Florence's center of circulation for eighty miles.


The National Hurricane Center said a gauge north of Wilmington in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 1.92 metres of inundation.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", a tweet from the city overnight said.

It added the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" was expected, with some areas receiving up to 40 inches of rainfall.

Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 315km.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said.

But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

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The slow-moving storm is expected to linger over the Carolinas, causing government authorities to worry that heavy rainfall, rather than high winds, will pose the largest hazard. The city said two Federal Emergency Management Agency teams were working on swift-water rescues, and more were on the way.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The governor maintained his declaration even as the storm appeared to follow a more southerly track than projections earlier in the week. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island chain, already had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Service said.

More than 306,000 residents and businesses, mostly in eastern counties, were without power as of 5 a.m. Friday, according to online updates from Duke Energy, the N.C. Electric Cooperatives and smaller utility companies.

Around midday, Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

As of 3 a.m., Florence hadn't moved and was still centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

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