Hurricane Florence Hits Outer Banks Home on Stilts With Storm Surge

Hurricane Florence Hits Outer Banks Home on Stilts With Storm Surge

Florence's winds weakened as it drew closer to land, dropping from a peak of 140 miles per hour (225 kph) earlier in the week, and the hurricane was downgraded from a terrifying Category 4 to a 2.

As of 8 p.m., Florence was centered about 85 miles (135 kilometers) southeast of Wilmington, its forward movement slowed to 5 mph (7 kph).

Don't pay too much attention to the storm's "category" - the fact that Florence is now a Category 1, for example.

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

Hurricanes and typhoons not only bring severe coastal flooding via storm surge-they create bad inland flooding as well. A Category 5 hurricane (which means winds of 157 miles per hour or higher) is more likely to destroy a building, but heavier rainfall makes it easier to drown in that building.

"I like helping people, and I've had people help me so this is my way of giving back", she said. And because Hurricane Florence has the potential to stall, it could inflict a lot more damage and cause more severe flooding in North Carolina than Floyd did 19 years ago.

Panovich: The thing about hurricanes is the number one killer is storm surge and water.

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In the North Carolina town of Wilmington, which could take a direct hit from Florence, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", Smith said.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent".

Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence closes in on North Carolina's coast with "life-threatening" winds.

Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump tweeted that he had just been briefed on the storm and "FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement are supplied and ready".

With forecasters anxious about a repeat of Hurricane Harvey, which inundated Houston with floodwater past year, NHC Director Ken Graham explained to the Associated Press: "It truly is really about the whole size of this storm".

Those surges alone are projected to cause inland flooding of more than 9 feet in cities like New Bern, North Carolina, even without the expected 15 to 20 inches of rain.

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Some 11,000 power outages have been reported in North Carolina.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband. They also have three dogs and three parrots.

"We're avoiding euthanasia at all costs", Pender County Animal Shelter manager Jewel Horton told The Washington Post.

She said she expects to be without power for up to two weeks. We will continue to see lingering showers and storms to start the work week. Meanwhile, the storm is forecast to move sluggishly over the Carolinas before turning northwest.

Memorial University Medical Center received nine patients from other HCA facilities in SC and eight from Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, Memorial spokesman Dale Hooks wrote in an email.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

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