Tropical Storm Isaac moves into Caribbean with 45-mph winds

Adjust Comment Print

According to a report from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, extreme weather events like the one now battering the Carolinas and Virginia can have far-reaching effects on consumers' wallets, impacting their spending for months after the storm has cleared.

If you're anxious about flooding away from the coast, then the Southeast River Forecast Center is your go-to stop.

The city had issued an evacuation order.

Hurricane Florence continues to drop category, but not risky, while hundreds of thousands of people try to get away from the coasts of the two Carolinas and Virginia.

However, forecasters say the storm's biggest threat is how much rain it is expected to produce.

Given the storm's size and slow speed, officials warned that Florence could cause similar large-scale flood damage to that seen in the Houston area during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago. The National Weather Service said about 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches.

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as sluggish and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year.

Authorities in New Bern said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater. "But I think we're ready".

Forecasters' European climate model is predicting 2 trillion to 11 trillion gallons of rain will fall on North Carolina over the next week, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com.

While Zone A is a mandatory evacuation zone, a city spokesperson said they would never force anyone to leave.

A woman reacts after a large tree fell on a house in Wilmington N.C. as Hurricane Florence hit the area Friday. One man was taken out of the home in critical condition
View Slideshow

Experts agreed that despite Florence losing some power, it was still poised to sow just as much destruction - if not more.

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.

The storm splintered buildings and trapping hundreds of people in high water as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching. Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore. The storm is massive and was a Category 4 hurricane at its worst that will devastate anything it encounters.

Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days".

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

"I'm not going to put our personnel in harm's way", said Dan House.

Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.

Marson said they'd lost power and the winds were howling outside, but they had enough food and water to last them for days. First responders urge residents to get out though, because this storm is unlike the others.

"You can't get over till we have power and we have sewer up and running", said the retired teacher and real estate agent, who rode out the hurricane in an inland hotel.

Comments