'Relentless' storm Florence pummels the Carolinas

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

As Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, a video of a reporter doing live coverage of the storm have gone viral on social media.

He said the danger will persist long after the storm moves away, because the enormous rainfall it drops will have to work its way down both Carolinas' river systems to the Atlantic Ocean, which will take many days.

A power outage model run at the University of MI projects that 3.2 million customers will be without electricity because of the storm, mostly in the eastern half of North Carolina. Additional emergency personnel from 13 states have arrived in North Carolina to assist with the storm, including swift water rescue teams, emergency medical personnel, and others.

In one incident, a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington.

"I said, 'Why get on the road like this?"

Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 miles per hour (7 km/h), with its center located over eastern SC.

A weather station on Cape Lookout, N.C. recently clocked a sustained wind of 55 miles per hour and gust to 70 miles per hour.

A number of homes in North and SC at risk of flooding during Tropical Storm Florence, even though they sit outside of federally designated flood zones.

A deep storm surge as high as 9-to-13 feet will inundate portions of the coast. The governor's office warned of "1,000-year rainfall totals". The storm's size and area affected by hazardous winds have actually expanded, and the threat from storm surge and rain-induced flooding "have not changed" tweeted Rick Knabb, The Weather Channel's tropical weather expert and former Hurricane Center director.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm. More than 60 guests fled the Triangle Motor Inn in Jacksonville in the middle of the night after winds and rain put a basketball-sized hole in a corner room, according to police.

Last year's Hurricane Harvey caused $17 billion in damages covered by insurance and $40 billion in losses that were uninsured, Watson said.

He referenced the floods of 2015 as well as Hurricane Hugo in an attempt to underline the gravity of the situation.

Duke Energy said late Friday that it anticipates 1 million to 3 million outages in the Carolinas, and that full power restoration could take weeks.

State Department of Transportation Sec. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed hotel.

Two people died in Lenoir County. Environmental groups are anxious hog lagoons and coal ash dumps that could contaminate soils or rivers used as sources for drinking water.

Others around the state are taking shelter.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

Reacting to Siedel's over-the-top reporting, one Twitter user posted: "Would somebody tell Mike Seidel to stop rocking back and forth like he's standing in 100mph winds when people in shorts are out walking behind him in the background like nothing is going on".

Gov. Cooper said Friday, "As soon as it is safe, first responders will make sure they go and rescue people who need to be saved from this storm". El Super Taco was locked and the video store was empty. Carmella Alvaro, the 42-year-old owner, held an emergency sale in anticipation of a power failure.

In some places that year, almost 2 feet (60 centimetres) of rain fell in a single day.

  • Carolyn Briggs