September 15, 2018. Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm today. The storm has caused rivers to swell and over flow their banks. Massive amounts of rainfall have been received in North and South Carolina. As of 11PM, September 14, 2018, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “The center of Florence was moving slowly West-Southwestward over extreme South Carolina. Life-threatening storm surges and strong winds continue overnight. Catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over portions of North and South Carolina.”
The location of the eye of the storm at 11PM on September 14th, 2018 was 33.8° N and 70.1° W, or about 15 miles WNW of Myrtle Beach, SC and about 45 miles SE of Florence, SC. The maximum sustained winds are 65 mph. The present movement is WSW at 5 mph. The storm continues to move very slow due to the high-pressure cells to the North and West. Florence is expected to continue traveling WNW and the take a right turn to the North and then curve around to the Northeast. This will continue to produce massive rainfall.
The NHC reports, “Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center. A wind gust to 60 mph was recently reported at Lumberton, North Carolina. A sustained wind of 39 mph and a gust to 52 mph were recently reported at Florence, South Carolina.”
The NHC reports, “Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall in the following areas…Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.”
In Wilmington, I spoke with William Hoehlein. He advised that he lost many shingles from his roof. There are trees down all over Wilmington as well as flooding. Hoehlein is a retired law enforcement officer. He advised that the criminal element has been active in looting as well as breaking into the homes of people who left to evacuate. When people are being pounded by a major hurricane, criminals are at work stealing from hard working Americans. Several arrests have been made.
There have been at least five deaths from the storm which have occurred in NC. Wilmington Police report two deaths were in Wilmington where a tree fell on a home killing a mother and child. The father survived and was transported to a local hospital. A third death occurred in Hampstead, NC. Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County stated, “Emergency Services were responding to someone who was in cardiac arrest. The emergency personnel were delayed due to down trees. When they got to the home, the person was deceased.” Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office stated, “A man was killed as a result of improperly hooking up a generator.” This was the fourth death. A fifth man was killed when his family stated that he died from wind related injuries.
The Lantern & Shield spoke to a person in Wilmington who stated that the flooding was so great, that the Cape Fear River was expected to breach its banks overnight causing massive flooding. They stated that they were leaving their home for higher ground.
Jimmy Keefe for County Commissioner wrote on his Facebook Page, “The National Weather Service has determined that the Cape Fear River will exceed its flood capacity shortly. It is expected to rise to 65 feet which is 35 feet above flood stage. This is also 7 feet above Hurricane Matthew. Residents who live within 1 mile of the river are encouraged to seek higher ground. This will probably turn into a mandatory evacuation within the next 36-48 hours. Please be safe, please be smart.”
There are over 769,000 customers without power in North Carolina. See Power Outage Map: https://poweroutage.us/area/state/north%20carolina
We ask that people continue to pray for all of our friends and neighbors in South Carolina and North Carolina. We also ask that you take action by contributing to an organization that will be on the ground to minister to those who are hurting from the storm. The Samaritan’s Purse is a worthy ministry who not only takes the Gospel around the world, but backs it up with helping to feed, clothe, and help those rebuild. If you would like to make a donation, please give through this secure link directly to Samaritan’s Purse. https://www.samaritanspurse.org/
The National Hurricane Center
Chad McEwen, Pender County, NC
Wilmington Police Dept.
NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Office
Jimmy Keefe for County Commissioner Facebook Page
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