Florence by the numbers: Strongest wind gust in 60 years hits Wilmington

Hurricane Florence from space

Hurricane Florence from space

Most of the damage during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 in North Carolina came from inland flooding - 31 people died and almost 100,000 homes were destroyed.

This is a developing story.

Folks in Charleston, South Carolina, who have chosen not to evacuate, are preparing for a nasty storm that could make landfall right in their backyard.

After all that, what is left of Florence will turn north towards Rochester.

The danger came in the form of a massive storm surge.

Yesterday, Dr Greg Postel, the network's hurricane specialist, said three feet (0.9m) of water was enough to knock people off their feet, potentially carry cars away and flood lower levels of buildings. Hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated the coast, more than 1500 United States flights have been cancelled, factories were shut and farmers rushed to save crops, poultry and pigs in anticipation of the storm.

Cedar Cliff Camp, a Christian summer camp in Buncombe County, North Carolina, posted a video Wednesday night offering its 24 cabins to evacuees. Officials said at least 150 people were "awaiting rescue" early Friday morning as the risky.

Storm surges could push as far as 2 miles (3 km) inland, NHC said, while heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian Mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

Florence's center will be moving inland very soon, said the National Hurricane Center in its 5 a.m. update, but it's expected to slow down after it reaches the coast Friday.


Forecasters said that given the storm's size and slow track, it could cause epic damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago.

Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.

A fire district Facebook post said, "The eye of the hurricane is predicted to come ashore just a few miles south of their location".

The National Hurricane Center says that "catastrophic" freshwater flooding is expected over portions of the Carolinas as Hurricane Florence inches closer to the U.S. East Coast.

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

Gov. Roy Cooper requested additional federal disaster assistance in anticipation of what his office called "historic major damage" across the state. The rest of these states along with southwest Virginia should expect 5 to 10 inches of rain with 15 inches in places.

Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday. The Philippines placed the main Luzon island under storm alert and said as many as 824,000 Filipinos may have to be evacuated before the storm hits land on Saturday morning.

The storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of sea water.

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