US East Coast braces for Hurricane Florence

Jo Lloyd
September 15, 2018

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

Farmers have learned lessons from past storms - most recently the devastating flooding of 2016's Hurricane Matthew, but this storm will rip through the state during what is normally harvest season.

Petty Officer 1st Class Mike McHuge from the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team checks the outboard engine of one of the Shallow Water Urban Search and Rescue boats staged in Augusta, Georgia, Sept. 13, 2018 in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

"We may have 60% of the tobacco harvested in North Carolina".

Duke anticipates 1 million to 3 million of their 4 million customers in the Carolinas will lose power from Florence.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding.

Just after midnight, the station tweeted that everyone had safely evacuated.

Florence was one of two major storms on Friday.

Florence crashed into the Carolina coast on Friday, felling trees, dumping almost three feet of rain on some spots and leading to the death of four people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

With the storm churning 140 miles per hour winds, hurricane watches and warnings include the homes of more than 5.4 million people on the East Coast, many of whom have been advised to evacuate.

The National Hurricane Centre warned there would be "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over a wide area of the Carolinas.

Eudy's family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said. The city tweeted early September 14 that 150 people were awaiting rescue.

- President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged those living in the path of Hurricane Florence to comply with all evacuation orders and emergency instructions. "If they're telling you to leave, you have to leave", Graham said.

The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

Also, his administration's widely criticized response to Maria was in fact "an unappreciated great job", Trump said Wednesday.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

The center of the eye of the hurricane made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward just south of Wilmington.

Hurricane Florence weakened into a Category 2 hurricane as it moved towards east coast of the United States, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Wednesday, but a life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall were still expected. The hurricane center said Florence will approach the coast Friday and linger for a while before rolling ashore.

Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land the murkier its future gets.

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.

None of the people rescued were injured.

"New Bern is just not used to this level of a hurricane", with damaging gales, rains, storm surge and flash flooding, said New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw.

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