Science

Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

Hurricane Florence kills at least three people

At least three people were killed.

Hurricane Florence is inflicting its long, agonizing assault on the North Carolina coast, with winds whipping at 90 miles per hour and life-threatening storm surge pushing ashore as the lumbering storm's eyewall begins to reach the coast.

The Cajun Navy rescues stranded residents in New Bern, North Carolina, as storm surge waters inundate the coastal city.

As the giant, 400-mile-wide hurricane pounded away, it unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses. Those interested in learning how to help can find more information on North Shore's website.

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

"Now we just have to figure out how to get hot coffee", said Mary Holland, standing on the porch of her home that was built in 1889.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 0715 EDT near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 150 kilometres per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

New Bern, which sits along the Neuse River, has seen massive flooding and damage from the storm.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. One million people are already under evacuation orders. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression, environmental conditions tore the storm apart, and Florence degraded to a tropical storm later. One of those bears, typically bolted in front of a downtown business, floated on South Front Street, prompting the city to tweet: "Some of our beloved bears have wandered off". More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.




According to fuel-station finding app GasBuddy, about 52 percent of stations Thursday in Wilmington, North Carolina were out of gas.

Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water, he calculated. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.

Canceled more than 1,300 flights along the East Coast through Friday.

The 62 guests were rescused from The Triangle Motor Inn in Jacksonville which had been structurally damaged.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped about 200 people.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

Boat teams rescued residents Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighborhood during Florence's assault. People waded in the water in a hotel parking lot while trying to get back to their hotel rooms.

Eudy said his family stayed in their home partly to protect their house.

People have left homes and taken precautions ahead of the hurricane.