Trinis in the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence

Trinis in the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence

Trinis in the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence

- Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster. When Hurricane Floyd attacked North Carolina in 1999, it didn't stall; Floyd was a fast-moving storm.

Surges up to 4 meters could inundate Cape Fear, North Carolina to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, with smaller surges ranging from half a meter to 3 meters in coastal areas from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to coastal areas extending north into North Carolina. "Have some pity on us because if you stay here and you have a problem and we have to get out in it, there's a chance that we won't because we can't".

Forecasters say the center of Florence is expected to move inland between Friday and Saturday. "I hope we don't but that might be the only thing that would affect us", James said. "I'm going to Charlotte".

"We've wasted three days of discomfort and displacement", he said.

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. Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

"Hurricane Florence was uninvited but she's just about here anyway", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, warning people not to be complacent just because the storm's winds had diminished.

The National Weather Service Thursday issued a flash flood watch for the Columbia area starting Friday morning through Sunday night.

Cheryl Browning lives with her husband and son, who has terminal cancer, in Richlands, North Carolina.

Since issuing a mandatory evacuation order Wednesday, nearly all of the more than 2500 residents left the island.

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A spokesman for the North Carolina Poultry Federation said Matthew was a problem partly because it hit so quickly birds couldn't be moved in time and that in one county multiple farms were flooded after an earthen dam overflowed. Forecasters said "catastrophic" freshwater flooding was expected along waterways far from the coast of the Carolinas. He estimated around 1 million people have evacuated.

More than 1 in 4 deaths in hurricanes come from inland flooding, which often catches people by surprise, as it can occur several hundred miles from landfall.

At least 88,000 people were without power in North Carolina with the brunt of the storm yet to come, according to the state's emergency management agency.

McMaster has ordered evacuations along much of the state's coast. "All across the state of North Carolina and portions of SC, there will be extreme flooding or major flooding at least for a number of days to come".

Utility companies are predicting power outages that could reach between one-to-three million across both North and SC for days and possibly weeks.

On the Outer Banks, some people are preparing to ride out the storm, despite an evacuation order.

Some in the Carolinas have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated. Hotel companies house the workers at apartment villages and took them by bus to the shelter, Strawderman said. "I'm not leaving him here".

"I'm used to them, I'm really not afraid of hurricanes".

"Watch out, America! #HurricaneFlorence is so enormous, we could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens from the @Space_Station, 400 km directly above the eye", German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted.

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