‘Threat becomes reality’: Florence begins days of rain, wind

Florence’s quiet potential disaster: Hog manure

Florence’s quiet potential disaster: Hog manure

Hurricane Florence battered the Carolinas early Friday (Sep 14) with howling winds, life-threatening storm surges and torrential rains as it edged closer to the coast in what officials warned is a "once in a lifetime" event.

Industrial waste, including toxic ash from power plants, could also be spread by flooding from the massive storm, which has caused mandatory evacuations of coastal areas in both Carolinas and Virginia, the AP reports.

A man waves the U.S. national flag in the wind and rain from from Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 13, 2018.

The National Hurricane Center says that despite the gradual lowering in wind strength, the storm remains extremely risky because of the high volume of rainfall and storm surges predicted.

"This is an excellent opportunity for all of us to remind individuals that these storms can come up quickly, and we need to be prepared", County Executive Don Mohler said. Florence's center will approach the North and SC coasts late Thursday and Friday.

Its hurricane-force winds extend up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the centre, and its tropical storm-force winds extend up to 315 kilometres (195 miles).

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said. But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

Six feet (1.8m) of storm surge could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower levels structures submerged in water, according to Dr Postel. "Well, we're about to get punched in the face".

Tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday.

A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River went over its banks and flooded the street during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in River Bend, North Carolina.

Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon.

General O'Shaughnessy said there were about 7,000 USA military personnel now in place and ready to respond to the storm, along with ships, helicopters, high-wheeled vehicles and other equipment.

About 10 million people live in the path of the slow-moving storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

After that, Florence is forecast to move northwest and north and move across western SC on Sunday, Sept. 15, and across western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee on Monday, Sept. 16, the NHC said.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

"When that last ferry pulls out.it's unnerving to see it pull away and know, 'That's the last chance I have of getting off this island, '" she said Wednesday.

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