'Monster' Hurricane Florence aims to drench Carolinas | KYW

Christopher Davidson
September 15, 2018

Liberty Mutual Insurance and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company write the most commercial property insurance coverage in North and SC, according to a report on Wednesday by Moody's, citing data from SNL Financial.

The hurricane could also produce heavy and excessive rainfall - up to 40 inches in isolated areas in the Carolinas and anywhere between 6 to 12 inches elsewhere in the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region.

To hasten evacuations from coastal SC, officials switched traffic patterns so that all major roads led away from shore.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", he said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Their entire neighborhood evacuated in Wilmington, North Carolina, David and Janelle Garrigus planned to ride out Florence at their daughter's one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".

The centre of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

He cited forecasts showing Florence was likely to stall over North Carolina, "bringing days and days of rain". Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said.

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The last hurricane rated a Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson to plow directly into North Carolina was Hazel in 1954, a devastating storm that killed 19 people.

"This is not going to be a glancing blow", warned Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Reacting to the possibility of a more southerly track, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast.

Some residents were resisting governors' calls to flee the region but remained fearful about the threats posed by the Florence.

"It's been really nice", Nicole Roland said.

Even with some weakening that's predicted just before it makes landfall, the storm "is expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane as it approaches the coastline", the hurricane center said. "We just need to figure out how to make it through".

The NWS predicted Florence could drop up to eight months' worth of rain in two or three days. Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

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