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More wet misery, soggy messes as Florence floodwaters rise
Grand Strand sees first power outages as Hurricane Florence nears coast
14 September 2018, 01:27 | Edward Lowe
Brock Long, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), warned the danger was not only along the coast: "Inland flooding kills a lot of people, unfortunately, and that's what we're about to see", he said.
With winds picking up along the coastline early Thursday, federal and state officials had issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system. The damage from the storm is also cumulative over time, as it slowly moves inland, damaging homes and buildings, blowing trees over, and knocking down power lines.
"The first bands are upon us", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday evening.
Don't relax, don't get complacent.
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The FDA will also look closely at "straw purchases", in which adults visit web-based stores and buy in bulk to resell to minors. The agency is giving e-cigarette companies 60 days to come up with a plan for reducing use of their products among minors.
Sixteen kilometres away in the city of Wilmington, wind gusts were stirring up frothy white caps into the Cape Fear River.
"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.
As Florence churned slowly towards the coasts of North and SC as a Category 2 hurricane, federal and state officials issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system. "We just want prayers from everyone". Flooding from rain and rising rivers also was reported in New Bern.
The National Hurricane Centerforecasts that it could be centered over southwestern Pennsylvania by early Tuesday morning, potentially bringing more rain to Maryland and another surge of floodwaters down an already swollen Susquehanna River.
Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that". Heavy rains were forecast to extend into the Appalachian mountains, affecting parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.
The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico a year ago.
"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says. "I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked".
Duke Energy Co. said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
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Many people in coastal communities have followed the mandatory evacuation orders, but some are vowing to stay put and ride it out. Those winds can heard howling at the Frying Pan, a decommissioned lighthouse 55km off the North Carolina coast.
Hurricane Florence weakens, but still a strong flood threat
Duke Energy Corp expected between 25 percent and 75 percent of its 4 million customers would lose power in the Carolinas. More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm approached, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.