Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Weatherman Forced to Evacuate Mid-Broadcast As Hurricane Florence Floods Station

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence Anna Moneymaker
Herman Weaver | 15 September, 2018, 08:17

WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Firefighters look into a home that a large tree fell on that has three people trapped after Hurricane Florence hit the area on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.

"It's important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted", the network said. "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said. "If the number seems really insane high, you always have to have some suspicion until we can actually get out and verify it".

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Durham Herald-Sun around 5am that about 200 people had been rescued so far.

Hurricane Florence, weakened but still unsafe, has crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge.

Another person died in a storm-related death in Pender County, North Carolina, according to a spokesperson, when downed trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition who called for help. The storm was a unsafe Category 4 hurricane Wednesday but was downgraded Thursday night to a Category 1 storm.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.

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The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places. And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week. New Bern is about 32 miles north of Morehead City, North Carolina, and 101 miles southeast of Raleigh.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3 1/2 feet (30 centimetres to 1 metre) as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days. The unsafe storm surge caused damage and flooding.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out.

In New Bern, where a curfew was in place, city authorities said hundreds of people had been rescued from homes inundated with water. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

More than a million people along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been ordered to evacuate.

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