90 mph winds batter Morehead City
Griff Jenkins reports from Morehead City (North Carolina).
Hurricane Florence eyewall is onshore in North Carolina on Friday and will landfall ‘very soon’ as the Category 1 storm lashed the Carolina coast and seemed ready to cause a catastrophic flood.
The storm was about 10 miles east of Wilmington, N. C., and about 80 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S. C., the National Hurricane Center (NHC) about 6 hours advisory said.
Emerald Isle, N. C. recorded, 6.3 feet of storm surge “flooding,” according to the u.s. Geological Survey. A 5.5 foot increase of water in the vicinity of Morehead City was also included, the National Weather Service reported.
The authorities in the coastal city of New Bern, N. C., were working with federal responders to rescue at least 150 residents who reported stranded in Florence storm surge.
“Do not relax, not be complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today, the threat becomes a reality.”
– Roy Cooper, governor of North Carolina
State officials were bracing for the worst. A torn American flag flying on a live surf camera in Frying pan Tower North Carolina, is a proof of the strong gusts of wind pounding the coast.
A sign at the Harbour View Inn in Chareston, South Carolina.
(AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Although Florence’s winds weakened as it drew closer to the land, dropping from a peak of 140 km / h earlier in the week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper kept his warning.
“Do not relax, not be complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today, the threat becomes a reality,” Cooper said.
Hurricane #Florence was pounding the coast of North Carolina. Here is the 3 PM EDT Update. pic.twitter.com/FjGijTcUa9
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 14, 2018
Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from the city center, and tropical-storm-force winds of up to 195 km.
Florence was moving west-northwest near 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, the update said.
Waves slam the Oceana Pier & Pier House Restaurant in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina on Thursday as the Hurricane Florence approaches of the field.
(Theo the Long/The News & Observer via AP)
“On the forecast track, the centre of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina, later tonight, then move or in the vicinity of the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area by Friday,” the update said. “In slow-motion in parts of eastern and central South Carolina, the weather forecast Friday evening to Saturday evening.”
The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 cm, the update said. This is expected to lead to “catastrophic floods and long-term significant river flooding.”
North Carolina has nearly 300,000 power outages in the whole country as of early Friday morning, officials said.
HURRICANE FLORENCE PATH: THE TRACK OF THE STORM HERE
The hurricane agency said a mix of storm surge and the tides could lead to flooding from rising water levels. Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, N. C., could see as much as 7 to 11 feet of water, according to the update.
Dunleavy’s Pub on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, wrote “open” on their boarded up windows.
(AP Photo/Mic Smith)
Storm surge and hurricane warnings were in effect for South Santee River, S. C., to Duck, N. C., as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds in North Carolina, the agency said.
“The worst of the storm is not here yet, but these are the first warnings of the days to come,” Cooper said. “To survive in this storm will be a test of endurance, cooperation, common sense and patience.”
Cooper additional federal disaster assistance in anticipation of what his office called “historic great harm” to the other side of the state.
As the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 people were at the reception.
Areas of Edisto Beach to South Santee River in South Carolina were under both a storm surge and hurricane watch, while the areas located to the north of Duck, N. C., to the status of the border with Virginia were under a flood watch, according to the NHC.
AS HURRICANE FLORENCE APPROACHES, LIVE SURF CAM VIDEOS SHOW THE IMPACT ON THE CAROLINAS
Schools and businesses as far south as Georgia were closed, approximately 1,200 flights and counting were cancelled, and the coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied.
If you’re ready for Florence, you can read about the steps to prepare for the storm here and find emergency contacts here.
Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Zoe Szathmary and Associated Press contributed to this report.
Amy’s Place is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.