Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Research | By Francis Brooks

FEMA launches 'Hurricane Florence Rumor Control' as storm makes landfall

FEMA launches 'Hurricane Florence Rumor Control' as storm makes landfall

Duke Energy said Florence, a Category 2 storm, could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks. "If I can't get back in a week, after a while they might turn on each other or trash the place". It is expected to turn away from the U.S. Parts of the Carolinas could see 50 cm to 76 cm, with isolated areas getting 101 cm, over seven days along the coast.

A man runs past a mandatory evacuation sign before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

The hurricane's immensity is why some 10 million people across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under storm watches and warnings, with meteorologists projecting Florence could become the most powerful storm to hit this part of the United States in at least 25 years.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

U.S. Southeast power companies said over 634,000 homes and businesses located mostly in North Carolina and SC were without power on Friday after Hurricane Florence hit the coast.

During the week of landfall (which in Florence's case began early Friday morning on the North Carolina coast), inflows to the accounts dropped by over 20 percent, or approximately $400 on average.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest. And she has seen reports of people fleeing to rooftops to escape high floodwaters.

Craven County Emergency Services has reported impassible roads due to flooding; downed power lines; and trees on cars. Roof shingles were peeled off a hotel.

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If winds pick up beyond 40 or 50 miles per hour, ravens and eagles will me moved to a holding area, and pink-back pellicans and white-breasted cormorants may be moved to the indoor section of the zoo's Penguin Coast exhibit.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said about 200 people have been rescued so far.

Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, have stockpiled enough food and water for 60,000 people for four days, along with more than 28,000 tarps. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.

She said she hasn't heard from shelters in the south who might need help.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Sandie Orsa, of Wilmington, who fears splintering trees will destroy her home.

Thousands of people hunkered down in schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem. Rivers are expected to burst their banks.Some 1.7 million people have been ordered to evacuate from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia, airlines cancelled more than 1,500 flights, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied out.

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