Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Science | By

Cleveland natives make it home as Hurricane Florence cancels thousands of flights

Cleveland natives make it home as Hurricane Florence cancels thousands of flights

Rain begins to fall as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on 13 September 2018.

By midnight, areas of coastal North Carolina were experiencing life-threatening storm surge, the National Weather Service said.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state. "Catastrophic effects will be felt".

As of the 7:45 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm's center made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

"Just because the wind speeds came down and the intensity of this storm came down to a Category 2, please do not let your guard down", Brock Long, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, told reporters Thursday in Washington.

"With the extreme storm surge along the coast, rivers will start to overflow".

South Carolina's state capital Columbia is at only 89m (292ft).

Avair Vereen, 39, took her seven children to a shelter in Conway High School.

Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house. "But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".

Florence is about 60 miles (95 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (150 kph), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.

Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 225km/h earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

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

Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern SC could see 20 to 30 inches of rainfall; some isolated areas could see 40 inches. Rainfalls up to 40 inches (102 centimeters) in some places are expected in a region ranging from coastal North Carolina to northeastern SC, with flash flooding likely, according to the NHC.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.

The worst may come as the gargantuan storm swirls past the shore and dumps days of rain on mountainous interiors, potentially creating disastrous mudslides.

"Your time is running out", he warned those who had not yet heeded the warning to evacuate.

Hurricane Florence's path could affect the homes of more than 5 million people, and more than 1 million of them have been ordered to evacuate.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina announced an evacuation of the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination.

In Norfolk, Virginia, police were alerted to people dressed in fluorescent vests going door to door and telling residents that they had to leave their homes and businesses, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

With the hurricane beginning to batter North Carolina, the state's Governor has asked US President Donald Trump for another federal disaster declaration beyond what he declared earlier this week. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoring it could take weeks.

Small rooms around the main hub and down winding hallways in the center housed officials covering all aspects of the response - sheltering and feeding the displaced, tracking the storm and its potential destruction, search-and-rescue. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, and a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, authorities said.

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