Monday, November 19, 2018 | ePaper

10m live in path of ‘monster storm’

Hurricane Florence edges closer with life-threatening storm surge

  • Print


The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina.

Al Jazeera News :
The outer reaches of Hurricane Florence began lashing coastal North Carolina with heavy winds and flooded roads on Thursday ahead of an expected landfall that will bring walls of water and lingering downpours to parts of the US East Coast.
The centre of Florence, which has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, is expected to hit North Carolina's southern coast on Friday, then drift southwest before moving inland on Saturday, enough time to drop as much as one metre of rain in some places, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and South Carolina and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said.
Al Jazeera's Jay Gray, reporting from Carolina Beach in North Carolina, said the situation is going to "intensify as the storm moves closer to the shore line".
"In some areas, these conditions are going to continue for two days or more," he said. "This is setting up to be a historic flooding in some of the low areas across the strike zone."
Florence's maximum sustained winds were clocked on Thursday at 165 kilometres per hour after it was downgraded to a Category 2 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the NHC. The winds had been as high as 140 miles per hour (roughly 225kph) earlier in the week.
But North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned: "Don't relax, don't get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality."
Some people who had rejected calls to evacuate the area in danger area took walks along the water as they tried to enjoy a few final hours of normalcy before Florence's fury arrived.
In Sea Breeze, Roslyn Fleming, 56, made a video of the inlet where her granddaughter was baptised because "I just don't think a lot of this is going to be here" after the storm, she told Reuters news agency.
Sixteen kilometres away in the city of Wilmington, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.
"We're a little worried about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now," said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director. "I am frightened about what's coming. We just want prayers from everyone."
Flooding, power outages begin The storm's centre was about 180km east of Wilmington, North Carolina, at 2pm local time (18:00 GMT) but tropical storm-strength winds and heavy rains already were hitting North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier islands. The main highway in the Outer Banks was closed in parts as seawater pushed in. Flooding from rain and rising rivers also was reported in New Bern.
Some 11,000 power outages have been reported in North Carolina. The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared the shore.
Florence could bring wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as four metres and NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook they could push in as far as three kilometres. Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
The storm will be a test of President Donald Trump's administration less than two months before elections to determine control of the United States Congress. After criticism for its response to last year's Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which officials there said was responsible for 3,000 deaths, Trump has vowed a vigorous response to Florence and defended his handling of Maria.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," Trump said on Twitter. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths ... Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000."
Trump provided no evidence to support his challenge on Maria. Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Millions of people are expected to lose power and it could take weeks to resolve the outages.

More News For this Category

BNP started interviewing the party nomination aspirants to finalise the candidates who will contest in the next Parliamentary Elections with its party tickets held at Chairperson's Gulshan office on Sunday.

BNP started interviewing the party nomination aspirants to finalise the candidates who will contest in the next Parliamentary Elections with its party tickets held at Chairperson's Gulshan office on Sunday.

9 more killed in road crashes

Staff Reporter  :At least nine more persons were killed and several others injured in separate road crashes across the country on Sunday.In Rangpur, at least four more persons were

Brexit won't be easier if I'm ousted: May

BBC Online :Theresa May has told her critics that getting rid of her as PM would not make delivering Brexit any easier.Mrs May defended last week's draft agreement for

Khaleda seeks bail, challenges verdict

Staff Reporter :BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday filed an appeal with the High Court challenging the lower court verdict that sentenced her to seven years imprisonment in Zia

Ershad collects nomination paper for Dhaka-17 seat

BSS, Dhaka :Jatiya Party (JP) on Sunday collected nomination paper on behalf of JP Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad to contest in the upcoming 11th parliamentary election from Dhaka-17 constituency.Party's

Rohingya repatriation, relocation plans pushed back to 2019

Reuters, Cox's Bazar :Bangladesh's plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis have been stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programs only likely to be revisited following

BNP submits list of cases to CEC

UNB, Dhaka :BNP on Sunday submitted a list of cases filed against its leaders and workers to Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda.A BNP leader, Salauddin Khan, submitted the

"No Xmas, 31st night celebrations in public places"

Staff Reporter :The Home Ministry has banned all celebrations of Christmas and 31st night in public places in view of the 11th parliamentary election to be held on December

1st Black Democratic nominee for Florida governor gives up race

AP, Tallahassee :Andrew Gillum, who tried to energize Florida's young and minority voters through a Democratic coalition seeking to end two decades of Republican control of the governor's office,

PEC, Ebtedayee exams begin

PEC, Ebtedayee exams begin

Staff Reporter :The Primary Education Completion (PEC) and Ebtedayee Examinations for the fifth graders began across the country on Sunday.The two and a half hour-long tests started at 10:30