Published: Fri, September 14, 2018

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

More than 20,000 on NC coast already without power from Florence gusts

Local meteorologists were already looking ahead to next week, when the remnants of Florence, by then expected to be a tropical or post-tropical depression, could move up into the Mid-Atlantic. And that's just the prelude to untold days of misery.

As the storm moves inland it will find a relatively flat area for hundreds of miles. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".

Tens of thousands of people are already without power.

"Yes its weakened, but is it strong enough to knock over a tree?" he says of Hurricane Florence.

Students of East Carolina University's Coastal Storms class use anemometers to measure wind speeds at Union Point Park in New Bern, N.C., on Thursday.

"If you find yourself here [in rising floodwaters], you need to get out", she said. For a Category 2 storm, that means sustained winds of 154-177 km/h (96-110 mph). And when it comes to impacts like storm surge, size matters just as much as the winds, says Rick Luettich, a coastal physical oceanographer at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's Institute of Marine Sciences.

He said hurricane-force winds extend outward 80 miles from the centre of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles out.

"It's cumulative damage", Myers said. Tropical Force winds of 58 to 73 miles per hour are expected in the area. The storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster. The actual landfall - when the center of the eye reaches land - will be Friday afternoon at the earliest, said Neil Jacobs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

One forecast from weather-tracking website predicts that over the next week, the Carolinas could see as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain.

At the time of writing, over 116,000 people were watching the storm approach the tower, which "is a privately owned surplus Coast Guard Light Station", that also doubles as a "unique adventure bed & breakfast" when the weather is more appropriate. Millions of people have evacuated to inland communities as the storm churns westward. He said that the hurricane could only be captured on a super-wide lens, even from 400 kilometres up.

In Carolina Beach, North Carolina, authorities have stopped allowing traffic to the island via the only bridge between the island and the mainland.

"Our sand dunes are healthy, but they're not going to be able to keep back a wall of water like that", he said.

Susan Faulkenberry Panousis has stayed in her Bald Head Island, North Carolina home during prior hurricanes, but not this time.

Horton pleaded for volunteers to take in their animals for the duration of the storm, a common, plaintive refrain at other shelters across the area.

"Against my better judgment, due to emotionalism, I evacuated", said Fisher, 74.

On Thursday, schools and businesses were closed as far south as Georgia, airlines canceled about 1,200 flights and counting, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty.

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