At Least 5 Deaths Linked To The "Powerful, Slow And Relentless" Florence

At Least 5 Deaths Linked To The

Thus, extremely heavy rains, flash floods, high velocity winds, along with a storm surge of over 10 feet is expected.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared past year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath. Hurricane force winds were being felt in an 80-mile radius from the center of the storm.

Florence is slowly weakening as it hugs the coast of southeastern North Carolina, its top winds down to 80 miles per hour.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said.

According to Mashable, if Florence hits North Carolina as a Category four storm, it will be the strongest storm to make landfall in the state since Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

The forecast calls for as much as 40 inches (102 centimeters) of rain over seven days along the coast, with the deluge continuing even as the center of the storm pushes its way over the Appalachian Mountains.

Meanwhile, winds and rain were expected to arrive later in SC, and a few people were still walking on the sand at Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was getting pounded.

The NHC said Florence went ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. EDT with estimated maximum winds of 90 miles per hour.

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About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million more live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said.

"This storm is slowly and painfully grinding across our state". That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. "North Carolinians are resilient and we're going to pull together and get this thing done".

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air. Roof shingles were peeled off a hotel. Shortly afterward, the National Weather Service reported wind gusts to 105 miles per hour at Wilmington International Airport, the highest wind gust measured in Wilmington since Hurricane Helene hit the port city in 1958. Highways and secondary road closures were reported throughout eastern North Carolina. Airlines had cancelled almost 1,000 flights and counting.

Latonya Willis of Wilmington, N.C., holds her 17 month-old son Ayden with her other children Kaiden and Dailyn in tow Wednesday before heading out on an evacuation bus ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence.

Tom Balance, owner of a seafood restaurant in New Bern, had decided against evacuating his home and was soon alarmed to see waves coming off the Neuse and the water getting higher and higher.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth". Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

"Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Florence on September 14 at 7:41 a.m. EDT minutes after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina packing winds of 90 miles an hour", NASA said in a video description.

The storm was moving to the northwest at 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

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