Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Hurricane Florence in pictures: ‘1,000 year event’ storm LASHES US east coast

Hurricane Florence in pictures: ‘1,000 year event’ storm LASHES US east coast

Florence already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds, and the threat is days from ending as remnants of the once major hurricane slowly creep inland across the Carolinas.

As Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continued to chart a path of destruction across North and SC on Saturday, school gymnasiums morphed into makeshift shelters for thousands of people displaced from their homes in nearby flood-prone areas.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.

A man who was trapped inside his New Bern, North Carolina, home by Tropical Storm Florence spoke with Fox & Friends on Saturday.

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide, Florence continued deluging the Carolinas on Saturday morning after pushing surging seas far ashore.

Water from the Neuse river floods the houses during the pass of Hurricane Florence the town of New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel.

In Wilmington, North Carolina, a mother and her baby died when a tree landed on their house. A 78-year-old man connecting extension cords in the rain was electrocuted, according to Roger Dail, the Lenoir County director of emergency services.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is fantastic and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday. "Dangerous storm surge could also affect portions of the northeast coast of SC coast today".

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Scientists can't say - yet - that climate change helped make Florence worse.

At 11 a.m., Florence was centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, inching west at 2 mph (4 kph) - not even as fast as a person can walk.

They have made clear that this event is all about the water - which the storm has delivered in devastating quantity.

FEMA's Brock Long mistakes Hurricane Florence for Hurricane Floyd in briefing
Since he took control of FEMA previous year , Long has allegedly been using a government driver to take him home. Aides that went with him were put up in hotels at taxpayers' expense, one official told Politico .

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour (155 kph) winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

North Carolina officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state, with unconfirmed reports of a further three deaths.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, maximum peril could come days later as all that water drains, overflowing rivers and causing flash floods. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

And weather officials said more is coming, labeling as "extreme" the impacts from storm surge and flash flooding.

Evacuation orders have been lifted in several coastal SC counties as Florence continues to dump rain on the state.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). "As rivers keep rising and rain keeps falling, the flooding will spread".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. "It's making it hard for us to move valuable resources to areas in need". Many of them are boat owners, who help rescue stricken flood victims. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later cancelled.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs and were left her shaken.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

"Maybe the communities of color that are expected to feel the greatest burden of a disaster like this don't have time to have a conversation like this with the media because they're fighting for their lives, they're fighting for their very survival", she said.

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