Extreme Weather 

Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall in North Carolina

[Featured Image: before and after pic of Oceana Fishing Pier at Atlantic Beach]

Florence, recently downgraded to a Tropical Storm, officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC at 7:15AM this morning with gusts near 90mph recorded.

This “downgrading” only refers to maximum winds — the wind field has expanded and rainfall/storm surge potential are still at potentially catastrophic levels.

With the system moving at just 3mph, feet of rain are expected to be dumped in regions over the coming days.

NHC reports that rainfall totals exceeding 20 inches thus far have been reported at several locations across southeastern North Carolina.

Tropical storms like Florence typically have multi-stage flooding events.

The initial storm surge and rainfall flooding is often followed by swelling rivers and streams in the days ahead as inland inundation eventually finds its way to the lowest ground.

Wilmington has recorded a wind gust of 105 mph, its highest in 60 years and second highest ever observed.

There are now more than 895,000 without power in North & South Carolina, according to the state Department of Public Safety, a number which is expected to skyrocket in to the millions by storms end.

Some residents of the riverfront city of New Bern, North Carolina, who ignored evacuation orders were awaiting rescue early Friday, trapped at their homes by Hurricane Florence’s wind and heavy rains.

Resident Peggy Perry, who awaited rescue, said that her house flooded up to her waist “in a matter of seconds.”

“And we’re stuck in the attic. There’s four of us,” she said. “We’ve been up here for like three or four hours. There’s a little window here that we might have to break up (to get out).”

With sustained winds of 70mph, that now makes Florence a Tropical Storm.

Taking the politics out of it, this is still a big storm.

But perhaps the week of hyperbole before it arrived was a little overcooked.

Stay tuned for updates.

GSM

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