Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

ISS images show massive Hurricane Florence from 400 km up

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend", the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update.

Flooding from Hurricane Florence swept across the Carolinas early on Friday as the massive storm surged toward the coast, threatening record rainfall and leaving scores trapped by rising waters.

Rivers in the waterfront city of New Bern began to overflow, swamping the streets with flood water and forcing residents to evacuate the area.

The center said the threat of freshwater flooding will increase over the next several days.

It is the storm's movement and not its strength that has forecasters and officials anxious. Two amphibious Navy ships are on standby to respond and provide disaster relief after Florence moves through.

As of Thursday morning, forecast models showed the storm bringing more rain than originally thought - officials now predict 35 inches of rain will fall in a two-day period as Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 115 miles per hour sustained winds, will stall over Wilmington after making landfall early Friday morning.

The entire town of Carolina Beach is just five feet above sea level, which will be no match for the expected storm surge of 13 feet or more.

Keith Beavers, a farmer in Duplin County, North Carolina, was rushing on Thursday to harvest as much corn as he could ahead of the storm. Here's ABC's Ginger Zee talking about debris flying past her face in Wilmington for nearly a full minute before having the sense to come in out of the rain, as George Stephanopoulos says, "Take shelter, please!"


Strom surge that was projected between nine and twelve feet in Pamlico Sound and the Pamlico and Neuse rivers was expected to cause a "tremendous amount of inland flooding", said Neil Jacobs, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Surrounding states like Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and even Pennsylvania will receive heavy rain at the end of the weekend and into next week as well.

The Pentagon has dispatched two ships and a Marine unit offshore to provide help if needed.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

Current paths show Florence making landfall near Wilmington, N.C., before tracking inland.

The police chief of Wrightsville Beach suggested that those who made a decision to stay give him their next-of-kin contact information.

"(It's) very eerie, the wind howling, the rain blowing sideways, debris flying", said Orsa, who lives nearby and fears splintering trees will pummel her house.

"We'll handle it. We're ready".

"We tell them to remain calm, not to panic, we will rescue them", Roberts said. We are staying here to keep you up to date'.

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