Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

As Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Trump Tweets Support to First Responders

As Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall, Trump Tweets Support to First Responders

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

It is an "absolutely a personal decision" to stay or go, Lori Crouch, a spokesperson for the city said. "You never know where there are active downed power lines that could cause an electric situation", Parker says.

People in areas vulnerable to the unsafe hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm.

Rescue workers and volunteers help a woman and her dog leave their flooded home during Hurricane Florence Friday in James City, N.C., near New Bern. The storm is expected to crawl into far southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC through Saturday, punishing the area over and over with rain and damaging winds.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that "disaster is at the doorstep" and pleaded with residents and tourists alike not to underestimate Florence's threat to life.

Hurricane Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday, bending trees and shooting frothy sea water over streets on the Outer Banks, as the hulking storm closed in with 100 miles per hour (160 kph) winds for a drenching siege that could last all weekend.

As many as 3 million people could lose electricity as a result of the storm.

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Its storm surge and the prospect of 1 to 3½ feet of rain were considered a bigger threat than its winds, which dropped way down from a terrifying 140 miles per hour - Category 4 - earlier in the week.

"I had a lot of fear initially but I'm glad to be inside and safe", said Zelda Allen, a 74-year-old retired tax accountant from Hampstead, North Carolina, who was riding out the storm at Wilmington's Hotel Ballast with her husband. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said.

More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate over the past few days, and the homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

The Weather Channel used the high-tech graphic to place meteorologist Erika Navarro in a virtual street, with water levels rising steadily around her.

Thousands of people hunkered down in schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

The path of Hurricane Florence sees it going over some of the poorest areas on the eastern seaboard. Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike.

Hurricane Irma destroyed Kathy Griffin's house in Florida previous year, and it could be days before she finds out whether Florence smashed her fifth-story condominium in Wrightsville Beach, where authorities said utilities could be out for days or weeks.

This landfall has been a long time coming: The hurricane arrived more than two weeks after the National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory for the storm.

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