Dozens trapped in storm surge as Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

5 months 5 days 19 hours ago Friday, September 14 2018 Sep 14, 2018 Friday, September 14, 2018 6:50:00 AM CDT September 14, 2018 in News
By: Faith Karimi and Tina Burnside, CNN

(CNN) -- Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina, but its crawling pace and overwhelming storm surges are setting up hours and hours of destruction and human suffering -- with dozens desperately awaiting rescue in one flooded town alone.

The Category 1 hurricane, with wind of more than 90 mph and dumping 3 inches of rain an hour, made landfall at 6:15 a.m. near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington.

Florence's center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and South Carolina -- punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who've stayed behind.

In the besieged North Carolina town of New Bern, rescuers plucked more than 100 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait when conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest," said Peggy Perry, who along with three relatives, was trapped early Friday in her New Bern home. "We are stuck in the attic."

Officials urged residents there to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including rooftops.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

By Friday morning, Florence already had:

• Sapped power to nearly 437,000 customers in North and South Carolina, emergency officials said.

• Pushed in a storm surge of 10 feet above normal levels in Morehead City, North Carolina, the National Weather Service said.

• Forced more than 60 people to evacuate a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after part of the roof collapsed, city officials said.

• Canceled more than 1,300 flights along the East Coast through Friday.

Hours earlier, streets along the coast had been transformed into raging streams, and massive waves surged along the Outer Banks.

FOLLOW THE HURRICANE'S PATH

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses," Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night. "This is just the beginning."

Latest developments

• It's closing in: The eyewall is onshore in North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.

• Downgraded but dangerous: Though now a Category 1 storm, hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from Florence's center, and it will linger for days, with prolonged winds and rain making it more dangerous.

• Ominous warning: "Don't focus on the category of the storm. Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland. This will cause extremely dangerous flooding," the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned.

• Areas threatened: Hurricane warnings and storm surge warnings are in effect for South Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina.

• Location of Florence: By 7:35 a.m. Friday, the hurricane was about 5 miles (55 km) east of Wilmington and was crawling at 6 mph (9 kmh). At 90 mph, its wind speed was dipping but still dangerous.

Rescues and narrow escapes

More than 1 million people had been ordered to evacuate before the streets became inundated.

Morehead City resident Rebecca Marson decided not to evacuate because her surgeon husband wanted to remain behind with other first responders. They're riding out the storm at their home with four children -- ages 11 to 17 -- Marson's friend, four dogs, two chinchillas, a cat and a lizard.

Marson said they'd lost power and the winds were howling outside, but they had enough food and water to last them for days.

New Bern's WCTI television employees fled their studio Thursday night due to rising flood waters. Footage posted on social media showed a meteorologist saying on air that they had to evacuate. He then leaves the studio and leaves a radar of Florence's rain bands playing on a loop.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Sign up for Hurricane Florence alerts

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA –Mid-Missourians have already witnessed several snow and ice events this season. The next round is expected late Tuesday afternoon... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, February 19 2019 Feb 19, 2019 Tuesday, February 19, 2019 1:57:00 AM CST February 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia City Council passed an ordinance Monday, that will require all tobacco retailers to register for a license... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 10:57:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
WAYNESVILLE - The Pulaski County Prosecutor filed charges against a suspect after he allegedly attacked a man with a knife.... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 10:53:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - There is a "true emergency" right now at the southern border, a Missouri congressman said Monday. ... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 8:04:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Another week in Missouri in the 2018-2019 winter weather season means another winter storm system. Here's the setup... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 7:45:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police confirmed the man involved in the deadly crash over the weekend has been in more than... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 6:18:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Mid-Missourians have had to adjust their daily lives to the cold weather for weeks now. For some people,... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 4:25:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - From not answering their cell phones, to trying multiple apps and buying equipment for their landline, phone... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 4:16:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Officers Association on Monday endorsed Columbia Mayor Brian Treece for re-election at a press conference... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 3:44:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Michael Hoyt had an emotional first visit to the site of the crash that killed sister over the... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 3:41:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — An unidentified MU student has been diagnosed with active tuberculosis, the university confirmed in a news release on... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 3:11:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating after a person was found dead inside of ABC Chinese Cuisine restaurant Monday morning. ... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 2:18:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
BOSS, Mo. (AP) — The Dent County Sheriff's Office is investigating a murder-suicide involving two brothers. Investigators say the... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 12:07:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Twenty-five years after Michael Davis died from injuries suffered in a brutal fraternity hazing ritual... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 9:40:00 AM CST February 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY --Efforts by lawmakers to increase literacy rates among Missouri students are on the drawing board again during the... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 8:23:00 AM CST February 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – At their meeting Monday night, Columbia City Council members will discuss a bridge repair project that could cause... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 7:08:00 AM CST February 18, 2019 in Top Stories
(CNN) -- Police have released the names of the victims in Friday's mass shooting in Aurora, Illinois. Five people... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 5:26:10 AM CST February 18, 2019 in News
AURORA, Ill. (AP) — An initial background check failed to detect a felony conviction that should have barred the man... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, February 17 2019 Feb 17, 2019 Sunday, February 17, 2019 4:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 23°
6am 23°
7am 23°
8am 24°
9am 26°