Hurricane Florence makes landfall in US North Carolina coast

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in US North Carolina coast

Hurricane Florence makes landfall in US North Carolina coast

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 6 mph (9 kph) and still drawing energy from the ocean. "I'm going to get killed on the road, '" Bradley said. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and that restoring it could take weeks.

The storm surge is going to be potentially life-threatening for some areas along the USA coastline.

About one million seven hundred thousand people have been ordered to evacuate on the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the Carolinas and Virginia have been forced to evacuate as Hurricane Florence battered the eastern coast of the U.S., including more than 3,000 prisoners who have been relocated from jails in the path of Florence. But the National Hurricane Center warned people of the hurricane's strong winds and its "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall" in an update Thursday evening.

"I had a lot of fear initially but I'm glad to be inside and safe", said Zelda Allen, a 74-year-old retired tax accountant from Hampstead, North Carolina, who was riding out the storm at Wilmington's Hotel Ballast with her husband.

US Southeast power companies said more than 188,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and SC were without power early Friday as Hurricane Florence caused a deluge ahead of its landfall later in the day.

"We know we're in for a long haul here", Cooper said of predictions that the storm will linger over the area.

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As of 2 p.m., the storm was centred 435 miles (700 kilometres) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving at 16 mph (26 kph). The president signed emergency declarations for the Carolinas and Virginia , a move that frees up federal money and resources.

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It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (130 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds reached out 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and slow track, it could cause epic damage similar to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago.

Authorities in New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people that dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.

As of 1 p.m. ET, more than a foot of rain had fallen in many towns in southeastern North Carolina.

Bertha Bradley said she has never favored evacuating ahead of hurricanes.

Jen Kottyan, the avian collection and conservation manager for the zoo, said the ways the zoo is preparing are very similar to how people might brace for a storm at home: filling tubs with water for drinking and cleaning, making sure facilities are equipped with flashlights and batteries, and clearing drains to guard against flooding.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps.

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