[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.
NEW: #Hurricane #Florence has made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM EDT (1115 UTC) with estimated maximum winds of 90 mph (150 km/h), and a minimum central pressure estimate of 958 mb (28.29"). https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/vzpe6MjTf9
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 14, 2018
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.
Record river stage flooding is predicted in Cape Fear River, with river levels forecast to rise to 24.5ft early next week. This is well after #Florence pushes out of the area, but impacts are likely still be felt. pic.twitter.com/vtwPQoB26x
— Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) September 14, 2018
"Our garage door didn't make it": North Carolina resident shows impact of Hurricane #Florence on his Belhaven home as he surveys flooded surroundings. https://t.co/HDjcwx7F4O pic.twitter.com/vs9dJKGl6T
— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
Wilmington has recorded a wind gust of 105 mph, its highest in 60 years and second highest ever observed.
Wilmington officially recorded its second highest wind gust ever: 105 mph. (135 mph Hurricane Helene, 9 / 27 / 1958)
— Gannon Medwick WECT (@medwick) September 14, 2018
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.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 15, 2018
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).”
HURRICANE FLORENCE: New Bern is experiencing extreme flooding from the storm. It's hard to tell exactly how high the water is at this point, but about 150 people are waiting to be rescued.
— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) September 14, 2018
— Anthony Farnell (@AnthonyFarnell) September 14, 2018
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.
— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) September 14, 2018