Trinidadians in the Carolinas prepare for Hurricane Florence

16 September, 2018, 13:36 | Author: Kim Reid
  • US hurricane

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As North Carolina residents began to feel the first modest effects of a weakened Hurricane Florence on Thursday, forecasters warned the powerful storm will bring seawater surging onto land and torrential downpours.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

The Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower, an old Coast Guard tower 32 miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina, is broadcasting live with a solar-powered camera.

Two people died in Lenoir County. In fact, the NHC noted that the wind field of the storm has increased in size.

Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street.

Spawning 'epic' rainfall and floods, Florence marches inland in Carolinas
The Port of Virginia in Hampton Roads was closed Wednesday but planned to reopen Thursday on news that Florence had veered south. Elder relatives carry as much weight as meteorologists in a tight-knit community of slave descendants on the SC coast.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami don't expect it to strengthen from a Category 2 hurricane before it moves ashore, but they say the real problem will be water as Florence lingers along the coast through Saturday. "My wife's in a panic right now". Thom Tillis said Thursday.

"You could have a delay when power is out, bridges could be out, roads could be flooded and you won't be able to deliver goods and materials for reconstruction", says Dorf, "or for that matter, clean water and food and other important supplies like batteries".

"Some say North Carolina is getting a break, but we are on the wrong side of this story", he said. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

9/12/18 5 a.m. update: Florence is a Category 2 storm with winds of 110 miles per hour.

Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday.

Coastal North Carolina felt the first bite of Hurricane Florence on Thursday as winds began to rise, a prelude to the slow-moving tempest that forecasters warned would cause catastrophic flooding across a wide swath of the USA southeast.

Hurricane Florence starts battering US East Coast
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. It says the threat of freshwater flooding will increase in coming hours and days from the storm's heavy rains.

More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the National Hurricane Center said.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 30 inches of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said, while more than 25 inches have fallen in the Newport, Morehead City area since Thursday. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coastlines of the Carolinas and Virginia. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

Still, there are several other North and SC airports in the storm's path.

In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the USA east coast as seen from the International Space Station. The storm surge could reach up to more than 3.9m, if the maximum surge coincides with high tide.

The bigger airports could see flights resume by Saturday afternoon or Sunday if they are not damaged by the storm, but it may take longer for the smaller airports to come back online. If anything, we are more than likely going to have a power outage.

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