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Hurricane Florence leaves death and destruction in its wake

Hurricane Florence leaves death and destruction in its wake

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer about 200 people already had been rescued by 5 a.m.

As the storm hovered around eight miles north of Myrtle Beach in SC, residents in the city of Conway, a few miles from the storm's eye, anxious that the Waccamaw river which surrounds the city would soon burst its banks. Officials did not know his condition as of 3:30 p.m. Friday.

When all is said and done, Florence could dump 18 trillion gallons along its path, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue. As all that run-off fills rivers, the damage will only worsen. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville, N.C.is forecast to rise an astonishing 45 feet by Tuesday.

Nearly 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks. Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.

"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can't do anything", she said. "It's been occurring all night".

At the time, the storm carried winds of about 90 miles per hour (145 km/h), making it a Category 1 storm, but that ranking belies the hurricane's massive clouds and the downpour it is visiting on the coastline, with some areas already drenched in 30 inches (76 centimeters) of rain.

On Thursday, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds (193 km).




More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the coast would last for hours and hours because Florence had come nearly to a dead halt at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster. The U.S. Geological Survey maintains the gauges, which during storm can get battered and cause faulty readings.

The rain is resulting in catastrophic flooding in southeast North Carolina that is spreading into the state's interior, even into the population centers of Raleigh and Charlotte. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter.

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.

Claire Tran, a 21-year-old journalist in Washington, DC, told Insider she's seen more than 10 Tinder profiles with bios referring to the Category 1 storm. Before daybreak, resident Mitchell Foor arrived with a generator, cranking up the hotels ice and coffee machines.

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, United States. Over 60 people had to be pulled out of a collapsing motel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and hundreds were saved as water levels rose.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..." NY emergency workers reported rescuing elderly residents at a New River retirement community.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's winds have slowed to tropical storm strength, and said the storm is moving slowly inland with sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and higher gusts.


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