Hurricane Florence Performing as Predicted
- Florence Unleashes Wrath on Carolinas, With Worst Yet to Come
- Hurricane Florence is doing “exactly as predicted,” and the storm surge and flooding remain the major dangers, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Friday after the eye of the storm made landfall.
“Because of the expansive wind field and the slowdown in the speed, we’re seeing a lot of flooding,” Mr. Long said in a TV interview Friday.
Inland towns such as New Bern, NC, are experiencing heavy flooding, he added, which is resulting in several search and rescue operations that will continue as the storm pushes through.
Mr. Long said it is not only FEMA that will respond to the storm, but a “partnership” that reaches from the federal government all the way into state and local levels.
Meanwhile, the storm surge has the highest potential to kill the most people and cause the most destruction, said Mr. Long.
“If I remember, high tide is going to occur between 11 and 12 p.m. today, so it’s only going to get worse as the system continues to file back,” said Long. “People don’t realize when they are asked to evacuate it is primarily because of storm surge and coastal inundation. In Katrina, 250 people died from storm surge. Nobody that goes through it lives to tell about it. There is nobody to interview about what it is like to go through storm surge.”
Meanwhile, private companies, not FEMA are in charge of restoring power grids, said Mr. Long, so “we are rewriting our response plans to put the private sector in the front seat to tell us how we can help them…the lights are going to be off for many days, if not weeks.”
The center of the hurricane’s eye came ashore at about 7:15a EDT Friday near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover almost all of the state in several feet of water. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier island chain, already had received 30 ins of rain, the US Geological Service said.
A National Weather Service forecaster predicted Florence would drop up to 8 months’ worth of rain in 3 days. A Tweet from the NWS said the storm would be “a marathon Vs. a sprint” as it hovered over the area dumping heavy rainfall.