Hurricane Florence could devastate poor communities of color, experts warn

Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

CORRECTING GRAMMAR AND TYPO IN CITY NAME A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018.

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.

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 people on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions and even a decommissioned World War Two-era battleship, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

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 why I got this thing, to use in times like this", he said.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

Rainfalls up to 40 inches (102 centimeters) in some places are expected in a region ranging from coastal North Carolina to northeastern SC, with flash flooding likely, according to the NHC.

"Florence is yet another poster child for the human-supercharged storms that are becoming more common and destructive as the planet warms", said Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the environment school at University of MI.


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

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline. We got thrown into mailboxes. Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.

"These are folks who chose to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.

Annazette Riley-Cromartie said she and her family thought they'd be safe in their brick house in eastern North Carolina.

Authorities in SC reported one death, saying a woman was killed when her vehicle struck a fallen tree.

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.

University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy said there are too many ever-changing factors that make it hard to blame climate change specifically. Duke Energy said late Friday that it anticipates 1 million to 3 million outages in the Carolinas, and that full power restoration could take weeks.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 5 miles per hour.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders.

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