Cleveland natives make it home as Hurricane Florence cancels thousands of flights

Pat Wise
September 16, 2018

About 10 million people live in areas that have been under either hurricane or tropical storm warnings and watches.

"A turn toward the west-northwest and west at a slow forward speed is expected through Friday, followed by a slow west-southwestward motion Friday night and Saturday", the NHC said.

With more than 1,500 commercial airline flights in and out of the Carolinas canceled - and potentially many more to come - even the skies above sat empty, except for Florence's foreboding cloud cover and rapidly strengthening rain.

A weather station in Atlantic Beach recorded a total of 12.73 inches for a 24-hour period. At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists believe this zone to extend from near Morehead City, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and may extend inland to more than 25 miles.

A hotter atmosphere can also hold more water, so this should allow hurricanes to dump more water on affected areas.

Destructive wind gusts topping 100 miles per hour are likely near and just north of where Florence approaches the coast.

According to the National Weather Service, storm surges occur when hurricane winds blow along the surface of the ocean and cause water to build up as the storm gets closer to the shoreline.

"Starting tonight until the duration, if you can stay put, stay where you are", Rogers said.

While hurricane-force winds can rip the roofs off houses, it is the water-storm surge, inland flooding, surf and drowning at sea-that kills almost 9 out of 10 people in hurricanes like Florence. As the storm moves inland it will find a relatively flat area for hundreds of miles.

The 400-mile wide storm is expected to start slamming the N.C. coast sometime Thursday night or early Friday, then weaken to a tropical storm as it drifts into SC, said John Quagliariello, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia. "A lot of rain", said S.C. National Guard Maj.

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The center downgraded Florence to a Category 1 hurricane, but warned that it still carried "very unsafe winds". North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned people: "Today the threat becomes a reality".

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Areas along the SC coast, including Myrtle Beach, reported power outages Friday morning and early afternoon. That's enough to fill more than 15 million Olympic-size swimming pools. Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor.

"There is some damage. but it is still standing strong".

Many people who stay say they want to protect their property from nature and looters.

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

The greatest effect of Hurricane Florence will be felt along the coast from Bald Head Island to Topsail Beach says Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines Robert Young.

Horton pleaded for volunteers to take in their animals for the duration of the storm, a common, plaintive refrain at other shelters across the area.

Many of them were staging at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons. "And since we have three dogs and three parrots, they're requesting us to purchase two to six rooms".

The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia could see 6 to 12 inches, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches.

"But we can't replace us so we chose to come here".

"He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said.

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