Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach

Hurricane Florence Hits Near Wrightsville Beach

The National Hurricane Center said the storm came ashore around 7:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.

In Belhaven, the Pungo River roared into town, crashing up against homes at a waist-high level and higher late Thursday and early Friday, video from Amy Johnson showed.

More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 6 mph (9 kph) and still drawing energy from the ocean.

As Florence raged, a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico brought heavy rain to already saturated areas along the Texas coast, resulting in street flooding and prompting some schools to cancel or cut short classes.

Top winds were holding at 90 miles per hour - that's just a Category 1 hurricane - but some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast. More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning on the North Carolina coast, with its strong winds and blinding rain having already driven risky storm surges of several feet into nearby beach and river towns.

More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.

The Red Cross said more than 1,600 people spent Thursday night in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in the Carolinas.

Organizer Clyde Cain, told CNN the Cajun Navy was staged in New Bern and had received more than 500 calls for assistance.

Flood waters surround a house as Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on Friday.




About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.

New Bern, N.C., officials reported on Twitter that about 150 people were waiting to be rescued, and two Federal Emergency Management Agency teams were in the area.

According to Roberts, citizen volunteers with their own boats had offered to help the city coordinate rescues.

NEW BERN, NC - SEPTEMBER 13: Residents try to prepare for more floodwaters at the Trent Court public housing apartments after the Neuse River went over its banks during Hurricane Florence September 13, 2018 in New Bern, United States. Roberts says the storm surge continues to increase as Florence passes over the area. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", it added.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along the Carolinas' coast - punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind.

Leaves, branches and other debris surround and cover a sports auto after Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington.

The National Hurricane Center said late Thursday that Florence has brought a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds to the North Carolina Coast. "Lots of water, lots of wind, lots of storm surge".

About 6.6 feet of inundation was reported by a US Geological Survey gauge in Emerald Isle. Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls westward across the Carolinas all weekend. This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

The now Category 1 storm's intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 miles per hour (135 kph) by nightfall.

Emergency workers went door to door urging people to flee Florence's rising floodwaters Saturday and rescuers used inflatable boats to pluck others from homes already submerged as the storm's epic deluge swelled rivers and creeks across the Carolinas.

Related Articles