Rain, floods, tornadoes hit Carolinas as Hurricane Florence makes landfall - Kogonuso


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Sep 14, 2018

Rain, floods, tornadoes hit Carolinas as Hurricane Florence makes landfall

The Carolina coast saw major storm surges, strong winds and fierce rain early Friday as Hurricane Florence arrived on land at Category 1 strength.

The center of the storm arrived about 7:15 a.m. EDT near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., close to the South Carolina border, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory update.

Forecasters said earlier Friday Florence was packing winds of 90 mph and rated at Category 1. It was moving west at 6 mph as its outward winds lashed North and South Carolina.

Experts said although wind speed has reduced over the last two days, the slow speed of the hurricane's travel indicates catastrophic flooding is now the primary threat for the coast.

The National Weather Service has also warned of possible tornadoes resulting from the storm. A half-dozen tornadoes touched down in North Carolina late Thursday -- not an uncommon occurrence with severe tropical storms.

Meteorological models project up to 40 inches of rain for parts of North and South Carolina through Sunday before the hurricane disperses. The all-time mark for three-day rainfall for Wilmington, N.C., a city in the hurricane's projected path, is nearly 20 inches, set in 2010.

Swells generated by Florence are currently affecting Bermuda and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and riptide conditions.

"A NOAA observing site at Cape Lookout, N.C., recently reported a sustained wind of 59 mph and a gust to 79 mph. A private weather station in Topsail Beach, N.C., recently reported a sustained wind of 60 mph with a gust to 70 mph" the NHC said in its advisory Friday.

Forecasters added that equipment on Emerald Isle, N.C., recorded water levels 7 feet above normal. Water levels are expected to rise with the tides.

A hurricane warning is in effect from the South Santee River, S.C., to Duck, N.C., and in the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A hurricane watch was issued for Edisto Beach, S.C., to the South Santee River.

A tropical storm warning, indicating the expectation of conditions below hurricane-strength winds, covered the Virginia-North Carolina border to Duck, N.C., and south of Chesapeake Bay, and from south of South Santee River to Edisto Beach, S.C.

A storm surge warning, anticipating life-threatening inundation of rising water on the coast within the next 36 hours, was in effect for the South Santee River, S.C., to Duck, N.C., including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers at the Abemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

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