Hurricane Florence makes turbulent arrival with strong winds, bands of rain

Body surfer Andrew Vanotteren of Savannah Ga. crashes into waves from Hurricane Florence Wednesday Sept. 12 2018 on the south beach of Tybee Island Ga. Vanotteren and his friend Bailey Gaddis said the waves have gotten bigger and better every eve

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most unsafe place to be as Florence moved ashore.

HO/AFP/Getty Images In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the US east coast as seen from the International Space Station.

Roy Cooper warned residents to not let their guard down ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall later this week.

One forecast from weather-tracking website Weathermodels.com predicts that over the next week, the Carolinas could see as much as 11 trillion gallons of rain.

Richmond, Va. -based Dominion Energy, which provides power in the northeastern corner of North Carolina, was reporting over 1,900 scattered outages. A few hearty locals gathered at Cape Fear Wine and Beer pub in downtown Wilmington.

Carla Mahaffee, a 33-year-old actor from Wilmington, said: "We lost power at home so we figured we should come to the bar".

"We've prepared all our supplies at home and frankly, we were bored".

"Yeah there's usually the typical guys who come out here during hurricane season", he said.

And the storm is still expected to bring catastrophic winds, rain, storm surges and flooding, the National Hurricane Center briefing said. "I am frightened about what's coming".

"We live in a mobile home so we were just like 'No way, '" she said.

By early evening, almost 70,000 residents were without electricity, according to North Carolina Emergency Management.


Roads and intersections on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands were already inundated with water. As of 5 a.m., its maximum wind speeds remain at 110 miles per hour as it started to ingest drier air, says FOX 13's meteorologist Tyler Eliasen, however, it also means Florence's wind field has grown larger.

More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.

An estimated 10 million people live in the storm's path, according to the US Weather Prediction Center, and coastal businesses and homes were boarded up in anticipation.

The driving winds and pelting rain of Hurricane Florence's western edge began to batter the Carolinas Thursday evening, giving the region a taste of what's to come as the monster storm moves ashore Friday.

NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook the storm surges could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km).

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said: There's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles off shore versus heading inland immediately.

The Carolinas will bear the brunt of the storm, but as it moves inland, Virginia, Georgia, and Maryland will also be hit.

Despite pleas from officials, some residents rejected calls to evacuate.

Parts of Wilson County, farther inland, were placed under a warning about 8:30 p.m., and Dare County had another tornado warning before 9 p.m. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

Mr Epperson said: "I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked".

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