'Dead Calm': Jeff Flock Assesses Damage as Eye of Hurricane Florence Passes

Pat Wise
September 16, 2018

At least four people were killed.

Hurricane Florence is set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months' worth of rain in two or three days.

More than 60 people were trapped in a collapsing hotel in North Carolina.

The residents there are not only dealing with the storm surge and flooding, but no power as well.

"This storm will bring destruction", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Trini-born USA citizen Marion Williams said in Baltimore Maryland, there has been intermittent rain for the past four to five days.

In New Bern, North Carolina, Mayor Dana Outlaw said early Friday that more than 100 water rescues had been undertaken after floodwaters reached more than 10 feet.

The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

"Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", City Hall said on Twitter.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Sandie Orsa, of Wilmington, who fears splintering trees will destroy her home.

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

The National Hurricane Center says Florence is about to make landfall in North Carolina bringing with it life-threatening storm surges and hurricane force winds. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

After the slow-moving storm officially made landfall, it continued dumping heavy rain over parts of North Carolina.

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Florence was about 30 miles away from Wilmington as of 4 a.m. Another one of the bears ended up in the middle of the street in the background.

- The number of North Carolina residents without power is now more than 480,000, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.

The storm's maximum sustained winds held at about 90 miles per hour (144 km/h), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore.

A tree uprooted by strong winds lies along a street in Wilmington, N.C., after Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said it was not too late for people to get out. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water, he calculated.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

Water was rising Saturday morning in a flood plain near the Waccamaw River, lapping up against homes and pooling over at least one main road.

The hurricane is moving towards land with maximum sustained wind speeds.

Airlines cancelled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday. The emergency rescue teams were on their foot trying to reach scores of residents who were trapped at their roofs, attics and even their cars after Neuse River breached its banks. "If we lose the house, oh well, we can get housing".

The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you".

A friend later tweeted that the woman and her family had been rescued.

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