Hundreds trapped as Hurricane Florence unleashes 10-foot storm surge causing 'catastrophic' flooding
What makes Hurricane Florence extremely dangerous is its potential to cause storm surges which will result in historic rainfall and heavy flooding trapping thousands
Authorities in the North Carolina coastal city of New Bern were reportedly working with federal responders to rescue residents after nearly 150 people trapped in the storm surge called for help overnight on Thursday. The officials asked the residents of New Bern — where Hurricane Florence has had the worst impact — to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including the rooftops, as they worked to rescue them.
Colleen Roberts, public information officer of the city of nearly 30,000 residents, said that about 200 people have been rescued from the city so far as the Category 1 Hurricane Florence has begun to batter the region with heavy rains and a life-threatening surge, according to Fox News.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU." Rescue operations underway in New Bern, NC after at least 150 stranded in Florence's storm surge. #FlorenceHurricane2018 #FlorenceNC https://t.co/XCqG82eHNB pic.twitter.com/7UjFUnMKxL— FOX 46 Charlotte (@FOX46News) September 14, 2018
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams were reprotedly employing recue boats on early Friday morning and were determining which areas were the most affected and needed assitance first.
The National Weather Service said that, despite Florence being downgraded to a Category 1 storm, it is expected to cause a 10-foot storm surge, with "catastrophic" flooding expected over various parts of the Carolinas.
Craven County spokesperson Amber Parker said that the flooding prompted over 90 calls to the emergency operation center in the North Carolina county. She added that the response teams had already "brought in busloads" of rescued people from areas including Fairfield Harbor, New Bern, Adams Creek and Township 7. Four shelters are currently open, Roberts said, adding that dispatchers received a call for 17 people stranded all on one street.
Authorities in the coastal city of New Bern, N.C., were working with federal responders to rescue at least 150 residents who reported themselves stranded in Hurricane Florence's storm surge. https://t.co/CeThus2QKb pic.twitter.com/XoVLNABP06— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 14, 2018
The storm was about 35 miles east of Wilmington, N.C., and about 50 miles southwest of Morehead City, N.C., the National Hurricane Center's 2 a.m. EDT Friday advisory said.
Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from the storm's center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.
The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 inches, the update said. This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding."
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
The National Weather Service said that despite Florence being downgraded to a Category 1 storm, it is expected to cause a 10-foot storm surge, with "catastrophic" flooding expected over parts of the Carolinas.
Weather forecasters reminded residents of the affected states on Thursday that, even though the winds speeds have dropped, what makes Hurricane Florence very dangerous is its potential to cause storm surges, which will result in historic rainfall and heavy flooding in the coastal regions.