South Carolina facing a "trying period"

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 14, 2018 - Duration: 01:21s

South Carolina facing a "trying period"

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is warning residents in his state to "have patience" and "be smart" as Hurricane Florence moves in.

Rough cut (no reporter narration).


South Carolina facing a "trying period"

ROUGH CUT (no reporter narration) STORY: South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is warning residents in his state to "have patience" and "be smart" as Hurricane Florence moves in.

McMaster told a news conference that he expects the hurricane to linger over South Carolina for at least two days.

Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday, knocking down trees and swamping streets with torrential rains and a powerful storm surge, before slowing to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding.

The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - had "overwhelmed" New Bern, a town of about 30,000 people at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Cooper said Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days." No storm-related deaths or serious injuries were reported in the hours immediately after Florence hit but authorities said more than 60 people, including many children and pets, had to be evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds caused parts of the roof to collapse.

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m.

EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

By 1:50 p.m.

(1750 GMT) the winds had dropped to 75 mph (120 kph) and the center was moving west at a 6 mph (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and South Carolina would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

More than 634,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and South Carolina early on Friday, utility officials said.

Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

It is expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Some of those who stayed went to shelters while others stuck it out in their homes.

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