Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas, swelling rivers

Minnie Murray
September 15, 2018

The drama was unfolding in the riverfront town of New Bern, which was hit by a huge storm surge as the sprawling Category 1 hurricane came close to making landfall.

In one video, major flooding has gone up the steps of a home in Belhaven, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence smashed into the U.S. east coast Friday, September 14, with howling winds, torrential rains and life-threatening storm surges as emergency crews scrambled to rescue hundreds of people stranded in their homes by flood waters.

Most ominously, forecasters said the terrifying onslaught would last for hours and hours, because Florence was barely creeping along and still drawing energy from the ocean.

According to the National Hurricane Centre, heavy rains with tropical-storm-force winds were yesterday spreading across the outer banks and coastal south-eastern North Carolina.

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

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos * a href="https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleNC.gov/?tn-str=k*F" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

"A basketball sized hole was found in a corner room by an Officer", officials said. Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

Jamie Thompson walks through flooded sections of East Front Street near Union Point Park in New Bern, N.C. Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate throughout Friday.

Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to batter the Carolinas since Friday evening with fierce winds, driving rain and catastrophic flooding.

And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.


The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

"Currently ~150 awaiting rescue in New Bern", City Hall said on Twitter. "Florence will then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the central Appalachian Mountains early next week", according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina, forcing a life-threatening storm surge of floodwater inland and shredding structures in its path.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.

As of noon, Swansboro, North Carolina, had almost 31 inches of rain, Emerald Isle had over 23, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot.

As of 3 a.m., Florence hadn't moved and was still centered about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 metres of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 90 centimetres of rain, touching off severe flooding.

The weather warning read: "Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina.an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches".

As the driving rain and pounding winds reached land Friday, a few of the locals who made a decision to ride out the storm reached for their cameras to capture Florence's fury from a firsthand perspective.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said there were no immediate reports of deaths, but cautioned the flooding and rising waters could inundate low-lying communities for days.

Authorities main concern with Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, rather than high winds.

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