Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach

Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach

Hurricane Florence rolled ashore in North Carolina with howling 145km/hr winds and terrifying storm surge of almost 4m early Friday (local time). Hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Durham Herald-Sun around 5am that about 200 people had been rescued so far.

We wrote up the story, laughed about it, and moved on.

Ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the North Carolina-South Carolina coast would last for hours and hours because the hurricane had come nearly to a dead stop at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern 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. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 90 centimetres of rain, touching off severe flooding.

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Forecasters say "it can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland".

Vicki Moulson, who teaches at a local community college in the Outer Banks, said she was planning to ride out the hurricane because she wants to be near her home and her friends.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries.

THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the U.S. with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service's Wilmington office are waiting for the National Hurricane Center to confirm the track of the eyeball, which typically has the storm's strongest winds.

As Hurricane Florence slams North Carolina, the riverfront city of New Bern is already feeling the impacts. Gradual weakening is expected throughout the day Friday, with significant weakening predicted over the weekend.

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Within hours of the storm making landfall, officials in Onslow County - which includes the city of Jacksonville, reported "major structural damage to homes, businesses and institutions".

More than 1.7 million people in Virginia, North and SC were told to evacuate ahead of Florence's arrival.

"We already bought candles, batteries, can food items, water and so on".

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did. Fortunately for House, he says this storm should not be a devastating event for the beach town in terms of loss of life.

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