Photos from Hurricane Florence are revealing the devastation the category 1 storm is leaving in towns and cities in its path.
Just after 7 a.m. local time on Friday, Hurricane Florence officially made landfall just a few miles east of Wilmington, North Carolina after days of anticipation and preparation for the Category 1 storm, which has been dubbed "the storm of a lifetime." With millions of people in its path, the storm's surges, fierce winds, and heavy rains are already having devastating effects as Florence inches across the Carolinas and southeastern coast of the country, leaving a swath of damage in its wake.
Keep scrolling to see images from those in Hurricane Florence's path.
Hurricane Florence's eye hit Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 a.m. local time, roughly 10 hours after its outer bands had begun bearing down on coastal areas, and bringing winds upwards of 90 miles per hour.
Despite that Florence had been downgraded to a Category 1 storm prior to making landfall, it is still expected to bring devastating effects to those in its path, with flooding brought on by the storm surge and heavy rains being the biggest concern.prevnext
"Violent grind across" North Carolina
Appartment building roofing coming off!!! Downtown Wilmington NC in Eyewall of Florence pic.twitter.com/9P7K15aria— Glen Heinz (@theG57) September 14, 2018
As Florence flattened trees and knocked out power to thousands, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that storm would "continue its violent grind across our state for days," urging those in Florence's path "if you can hear me – please stay sheltered in place. Do NOT go out into this storm."
"Heavy rains and high winds are likely to spread across North Carolina and linger for days," Cooper warned at a news conference. "As Florence moves inland, we'll see more rain and more flooding from our rivers. And remember that rivers keep on rising even after the rain stops."prevnext
People are Stranded
Although more than a million people were under mandatory evacuation orders in coastal areas of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, those who chose not to evacuate or were unable to, were left stranded as the storm bore down.
In the coastal town of New Bern, at least hundreds people were said to be "awaiting rescue" after they became stranded due to rising flood waters brought on by the storm surge and heavy rains.
"More are on the way to help us," New Bern officials tweeted early Friday. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU."
Police have since reported that 150-200 people in the city had been rescued, but another 150 remained stranded, according to CBS News.prevnext
The National Guard has been Brought in
As Florence continues its path of devastation, more than 7,000 service members composed of both the National Guard and active duty members have been placed on standby in preparation to assist those in need during and after the storm.
"We are proactively positioning forces now to respond from the north, from the south, from the east and from the west, across the full spectrum of DoD capabilities at every level – by air, by sea and by land," Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy said.prevnext
Rising flood waters forced workers at New Bern's WCTI-TV NewsChannel 12 to evacuate.
"We had to leave our station due to rising flood waters from Hurricane Florence. However, our sister station, WPDE in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is providing coverage and we'll continue to post to social media and our website. Feel free to share your photos and videos to us but, most important, stay safe," the station shared in a Facebook post.
The team safely made their way out of the building, but said that surrounding roads were also flooded.prevnext
Hurricane Florence so far. pic.twitter.com/dpgsSBUy1J— Jordie Jordan (@WORGODICP) September 14, 2018
With sustained wind speeds at 90 miles per hour and gusts reaching upwards of over 100 miles per hour, Florence is flattening trees across the Carolinas, causing severe damage to homes, buildings, and vehicles.
The high winds have also knocked out power to thousands of people, with the official account topping more than 600,000 customers without power as of 1 p.m. local time, a number that is expected to keep growing. Most of the outages have been reported in North Carolina, where the eye of the storm directly hit, though several thousand are without power in South Carolina as well.prevnext
A few pictures from early this morning this is close to Wrightsville Beach, and I have some family in New Bern. Everyone stay safe.. It's Windy and it's heading toward my direction.??Hurricane #Florence has made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Wrightsville Beach, pic.twitter.com/aoPsgui9pn— leeann0252 (@leeann0252) September 14, 2018
Florence is expected to bring storm surges that can reach upwards of 11 feet in some areas, potentially sweeping away homes, vehicles, and people.
Given the storm's size and slow movement, forecasters believe that Florence could dump upwards of 30 to 40 inches of rain in isolated areas, with widespread totals expected to measure 20 to 25 inches. So far, some areas have already seen more than 20 inches.
In total, the storm is expected to dump some 18 trillion gallons of rain, enough water to fill more than 65,000 Empire State Buildings, according to Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.prevnext
How to help1comments
While the Category 1 storm batters coastal areas on Friday, Florence is forecast to move further inland across North Carolina and eastern South Carolina Friday afternoon and into Saturday before moving northward.
With Florence already proving to be a devastating storm, there are a number of ways to help, such as donating to organizations like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Google has announced that it will match Red Cross donations up to $1 million.prev