Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Florence downgraded to tropical storm just 50 miles off coast

Florence downgraded to tropical storm just 50 miles off coast

Hurricane Florence is inching along after making landfall in North Carolina, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering to come.

Hurricane Florence roared ashore Friday in southern North Carolina, pounding the coast with wind and rain, causing widespread power outages and raising fears of possibly "catastrophic" flooding across parts of the state.

"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday.

Non-profit groups are preparing to serve tens of thousands of meals daily in the most-damaged areas, while state and federal emergency officials are locating temporary housing, including hotel rooms, for storm victims in the weeks or months that they're displaced.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolinas, forecasters said.

Florence already has set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths.

USA power companies said more than 870,000 homes and businesses, mostly in North Carolina and SC, were without power on Saturday after Florence hit the Southeast coast.

"You evacuate from water", Cline said.

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The storm is moving at just 3 miles per hour (5 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center.

NASA releases footage showing massive Hurricane Florence from space
NASA's Aqua satellite provides an infrared look at the large and powerful Hurricane Florence taken yesterday (13 September). Previously he was awarded the fourth of five capacity categories of hurricanes according to the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Neighbor Adam Sparks said he noticed emergency responders arrive at the house across the street right around when his power went out and the storm was intensifying. Expert scientists, however, had said they were anxious about Brunswick because of scant public information about its readiness.

MPR News reports that half-million homes and businesses are without power, a statistic that will likely rise as the storm expands its reach.

Ralph Northam has lifted the mandatory Zone A evacuation order, allowing residents in coastal Virginia to return home.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown are was under water by Friday afternoon. "We are stuck in the attic". Although more than $740 million in federal, state and local funds have been spent to address Matthew's damages, state officials are still working to distribute $236 million allocated by the federal government past year to help reimburse or pay for extensive home repairs.

Gibson said she thinks some people couldn't afford to evacuate New Bern and others didn't heed evacuation warnings after Florence dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 1.

"The size of the tree is not something you could simply cut with a chainsaw and remove and then quickly extricate", he said.

Hurricane Florence is being blamed for taking several lives in North Carolina, including that of a woman and infant child who were killed when a massive tree crashed through their modest brick home early Friday.

The storm has claimed at least five lives, two of them in Wilmington, NC. "Then maybe I'll take my family to closest shelter", he said.

New Bern's WCTI television employees fled their studio Thursday night due to rising flood waters. But Florence's forward movement had slowed to a crawl, and it piled on the rain in a siege that could go on all weekend long.

The city has been placed under a 24-hour curfew until further notice, New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said in an interview just before 7 a.m. Citizen groups are helping with the rescue efforts, she said, and the city is not turning away anyone who offers help.

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