Where is the storm now?
The eye of Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. ET on Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. The storm is still pounding towns as it lumbers across the Carolinas. (Here’s an explainer of the parts of a hurricane.)
What’s the biggest threat?
Wind often gets the headlines, but water is the thing that’s most responsible for deaths in a hurricane. And Florence is bringing the water. It’s pouring down from the sky in heavy rain bands. And it’s rolling in from the ocean as storm surge.
About half of all deaths in hurricanes come from storm surges, as this graphic shows.
How would you describe the flooding dangers?
Freshwater flooding will be “catastrophic” over portions of the Carolinas, the National Weather Service said. “The storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the weather service said. Even as the storm moves out, the flooding will continue for days because of the storm surge.
What kind of water levels are expected?
In one stretch, from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, the water could reach 7 to 11 feet above ground. In another, from Cape Lookout to Ocracoke Inlet, the water could reach 6 to 9 feet. The Northeast Cape Fear River is expected to rise more than 20 feet by Sunday and could flood more than 200 homes. If the river does rise this high, it would break a record set in 1999 during Hurricane Floyd.
What about rain?
In southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina, an additional 20 to 25 inches and isolated totals of 30 to 40 inches of rain are expected. In the rest of the Carolinas into southwestern Virginia, 5 to 10 inches are expected, with isolated cases of 15 inches.
What states are affected?
The two Carolinas — North and South. Then, as the storm moves inland, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland will also be in peril.
What’s been the impact so far?
- Widespread power outages already. More than 500,000 homes and businesses are without electricity in North and South Carolina.
- Food banks, already short on supplies, are in desperate need of donations.
- More than 1,100 flights canceled along the US East Coast through Friday and Saturday.
- More than 22,000 patients evacuated from hospitals in South Carolina.
How can I help the victims?
GoFundMe has verified a campaign for Task Force 75, a team of veterans who have brought boats and supplies to Wilmington, North Carolina, to help with search and rescue operations for people and animals.
The storm has also impacted the blood supply in the region. You can find updated locations to give blood through the AABB, America’s Blood Centers, American Red Cross and the Armed Services Blood Program.
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