Hurricane Florence began to lash the coast of North Carolina, while the swell begins its relentless march and the strong winds destroy the United States flag at an observation post.
The waters of the storm tide were detected damaging the beachfront homes north of Wilmington, North Carolina on Topsail Beach on Thursday night, the beginning of which could reach 9 to 11 feet of swells.
At Frying Pan Tower, a 32-mile observation post off the coast of North Carolina, a live video broadcast showed the sustained 100 mph winds of Category 2 breaking a US flag into pieces.
Police suspended service in Morehead City and other coastal cities and warned residents who remain in the evacuation zone that they will not have emergency services until the storm passes.
On Thursday night, the Neuse River overflowed, causing rapid flooding in New Bern and forcing residents to flee.
In North Carolina, 102,308 have lost power, authorities said. The main affected counties were Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow and Pamlico.
It was expected that the storm surge would come inland along the flat coastal plain of North Carolina.
At Frying Pan Tower, a 32-mile observation post off the coast of North Carolina, a live video broadcast showed the sustained winds of 100 km / h of the category 2 storm breaking a US flag in pieces
The storm surge was underway at Topsail Beach on Thursday night. Storm tides could reach 11 feet in some areas
The storm tide rips the door of a garage off its hinges when the objects inside are pushed by the flood waters on Thursday
Meteorologists warn that storm surges will occur inland. This map shows the forecasts of storm surge by potential gravity
& # 39; The storm surge is not just a problem of & # 39; ocean? tonight. A significant increase in North Carolina inlets and rivers is expected, in some areas exceeding 9 feet! the National Meteorological Service said in a tweet.
In Wilmington, which could receive a direct impact from Florence, gusts of wind stirred frothy white layers on the Cape Fear River.
"We're a little worried about the storm surge, so we went down to see what the river is doing now," said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director. & # 39; I'm afraid of what's coming. We just want prayers from everyone. "
Near the beach in Wilmington, a Waffle House restaurant, part of a chain with a reputation for staying open during disasters, had no plans to close, even if electricity was lost. I had long lines on Thursday.
In the small community of Sea Breeze, near Wilmington, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the entrance where her granddaughter was baptized because "I do not think much of this will be here" later.
Will Epperson, a 36-year-old assistant superintendent of golf courses, said he and his wife had planned to overcome the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but reconsidered their ferocity. Instead, they drove 150 miles inland to their mother's house in Durham.
"The level of anxiety has decreased substantially," said Epperson. "I've never been someone to leave because of a storm, but this kind of guy scared me."
The men pack their belongings after evacuating their home in New Bern, North Carolina, after the Neuse River overflowed and flooded their street during Hurricane Florence on Thursday.
Residents rush to escape when water rises in New Bern after storm surges pushed the Neuse River over its shore
Michael Nelson floats on a boat made of a metal tub and fishing floats after the Neuse River overflowed and flooded
Nelson floats in a homemade boat. Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible swell of 9 feet
In a brief bulletin at 8:00 pm Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said Florence was about 85 miles southeast of Wilmington, and 145 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, heading northwest at a speed of five miles per hour.
A buoy off the coast of North Carolina recorded waves almost 30 feet high when Florence was waving towards the coast.
As the storm has slowed as it approaches, it is expected that the official fall, when the eye of the storm reaches the coast, occurs sometime on Friday night.
Winds and rain came later in South Carolina, and some people were still walking on the sand in Myrtle Beach while North Carolina was hit on Thursday. Heavy rains began after dark.
Meteorologists said conditions would only be more lethal as the storm crashes on the coast early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and slowly creeps inland.
Its swell could cover all but one strip of the Carolina coast up to 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could discharge more than 3 feet of rain, causing severe flooding.
Residents in Wilmington wait for a table at Waffle House. Although boarded up, the restaurant remained open on Thursday
You can see diners at the Wilmington Waffle House. The restaurant chain is famous for staying open through severe storms
FEMA even uses a & # 39; Waffle House Index & # 39; to determine how severe a storm is, depending on whether the chain closes locations or limits its menu. Waffle House pre-stages supplies and relies on generators to stay open during storms
The governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, warned: "Do not relax, do not become complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes reality. "
More than 12,000 were in shelters in North Carolina. In South Carolina, more than 400,000 people have evacuated the coast of the state and more than 4,000 people have taken refuge in shelters, officials said.
Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where the predictions were less severe.
By Thursday night, the window to evacuate much of the North Carolina coast had been closed, and authorities said that anyone who had not moved inland would have to take refuge in their place.
Meteorologists said that given the size of the storm and its slowness, it could cause epic damage similar to that seen in the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with flooding flooding homes and businesses and washing in waste sites. industrial and manure ponds.
A satellite image shows Hurricane Florence approaching the North Carolina coast as a Category 2 storm on Thursday
A truck drives through deep water after the Neuse River flooded the street in River Bend, North Carolina on Thursday
"It really is about the full size of this storm," said National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham. "The bigger and slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact, and we have that."
HURRICANE FLORENCE IN NUMBERS
The outer bands of wind and rain from a weakened but still deadly hurricane Florence began to lash out at North Carolina on Thursday.
As the monstrous storm progresses for a prolonged stay, here is a breakdown by numbers:
- Florence clocked Winds of 110 mph on Thursday after having been demoted to a Category 2
- The storm was already generating 83 feet waves in the sea on wednesday
- Storm Threats That Threaten Life Up 13 feet they were also predicted in some areas
- It is predicted that Florence will accumulate 40 inches of rain in some areas after touching land in North and South Carolina
- Potentially 10 billion gallons of rain is expected in the southern states in the next week
- An estimate 10 million people live in areas that are expected to be under a hurricane or storm warning
- Until 1.7 million people they were ordered to evacuate before the hurricane
The hurricane was seen as an important test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was harshly criticized for being slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year.
When Florence approached, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and the first responders are "ready and ready", and disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming that the figure was a Democratic plot to make it look bad.
"This was done by the Democrats to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising billions of dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico," Trump wrote. & # 39; If a person died for any reason, such as old age, simply add it to the list. Bad policy I love Puerto Rico!
Schools and businesses closed south to Georgia, airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights and the coastal cities of the Carolinas were virtually empty.
Around noon, the Spanish moss blew sideways in the trees as the winds increased in Wilmington, and the floating docks bounced over the swells in Morehead City. Some of the few people left at Nags Head in the Outer Banks took pictures of furious waves crowned with white foam.
The resident of Wilmington, Julie Terrell, was very worried after walking to breakfast past a row of fortified shops with boards, sandbags and hurricane shutters.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, you probably have 7 & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; & # 39; in terms of concern, said. & # 39; Because it's mother nature. You can not predict. & # 39;
Europe's weather model of meteorologists predicts that between 2 billion and 11 billion gallons of rain will fall in North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com. It is enough water to fill the Empire State Building almost 40,000 times.
More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate in recent days, and homes of around 10 million were under surveillance or warning due to hurricane conditions or tropical storms.
A work truck drives on Highway 24 while Hurricane Florence's wind blows palm trees in Swansboro, North Carolina on Thursday
Waves crash around the Oceana pier in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, when the outer edges of Hurricane Florence will affect the coast on Thursday
Huge waves lashed the beaches of North Carolina as the hurricane rolled bringing heavy rain
Homeless after losing her job at Walmart three months ago, Brittany Jones, 25, went to a storm shelter at a high school near Raleigh. She said that a hurricane has a way of bringing everyone to the same level.
"It does not matter how much money you have or how many generators you have if you can not get gas," he said. "Whether you have a house or not, when the storm arrives, it will gather everyone, a storm can come and clean your house during the night.
Duke Energy Co. said Florence could shut down three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and that interruptions could last for weeks. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help with the consequences of the storm, he said.
Scientists said it is too early to say what role, if anything, global warming in the storm. But previous research has shown that stronger hurricanes become wetter, more intense and intensify more rapidly due to human-caused climate change.
The weakening of Florence as it approached the coast created tension between some who left their homes and authorities who feared that the storm could still be deadly.
People are seen inside a shelter managed by the Red Cross before Hurricane Florence lands in Grantsboro, North Carolina.
Evacuates from Hurricane Florence try to sleep at a Red Cross shelter in Grantsboro, North Carolina, on Thursday
Local resident Alexia Hunter and her two sons, David and Saniyah, see the rising storm surge in Wilmington
Previously Thursday people were walking along the riverwalk today in Wilmington, North Carolina
Frustrated after evacuating her house on the beach in a storm that was later degraded, retired nurse Frederick Fisher grumbled in the lobby of a Wilmington hotel several miles inland.
"Against my better judgment, because of the emotionality, I evacuated," said Fisher, 74. "I have four cats inside the house." If I can not return in a week, after a while they can turn on each other or destroy the place. "
The authorities rejected any suggestion that the threat of the storm was exaggerated.
The police chief of a barrier island in the Florence center of attention said he was requesting contact information from relatives of the few residents who refused to leave.
"I'm not going to put our staff in danger, especially for the people we've already told them to evacuate," said Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House.
A terrifying simulation video shows what Hurricane Florence storm surge will look like if
A video simulation climate shows how the storm surge of Hurricane Florence, which threatens life, could be seen if it reaches nine feet in height.
In some areas, waves of life-threatening storms of up to 13 feet have been forecast as the monstrous storm finally makes landfall in North Carolina and South Carolina.
The Weather Channel forecast video shows the potential damage that such waves could inflict on the southern states.
Dr. Greg Postel, a network hurricane specialist, said one meter of water was enough to knock people down, possibly to carry cars and flood the lower levels of the buildings.
Six feet of storm tide could carry large objects like cars underwater and leave lower-level structures submerged in water, according to Dr. Postel.
The video also gives an alarming indication of how nine feet of water are, submerging completely the lower buildings.