Weather Channel Defends Reporter As He Allegedly Exaggerates Report On Hurricane Florence

Andrew Carter  The News & Observer via AP

Relief will not come quickly.

"The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a briefing. The rivers are in most cases several days from cresting. Cruise ships have diverted to Florida away from the storm's path, and some hotels are offering special discounts for evacuees.

There is really nowhere for the water to go. A husband and wife died in a house fire linked to the storm, officials said, and an 81-year-old man died after falling and hitting his head while packing to evacuate.

The surges will be most harmful in North Carolina, with rain and flooding also making the dangerously high water levels even worse.

That's Jay Barnes. He's a hurricane historian and has literally written the book on the history of North Carolina's hurricanes.

Still, he said: "I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth". "It's making it hard for us to move valuable resources to areas in need". There had been no reports of injuries or fatalities, though most of the city was without power and thousands of buildings had been damaged, she said.

Jason Weinmann, a 47-year-old retired Marine, also joined the rescue effort.

Strong winds have got nothing on this tough guy.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m.

The president may travel to the region next week, the White House has said. About 31 inches (79 centimeters) was reported in Swansboro, on the North Carolina coast.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Survey said.

Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and on social media.

A mother and her infant were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long's travel subject of inspector general investigation
He is now overseeing the preparations for Hurricane Florence , which is expected to hit the Southeast hard. Long reportedly began having a government driver take him home since he took control of FEMA past year .

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

In Pender County, officials said that a woman died of a heart attack Friday morning as emergency crews tried to reach her; they were delayed because of downed trees and debris in the road. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the NWS says.

Cooper said nearly all the buildings in town, including homes and businesses, are going to be fine. "Be extremely careful and stay alert".

As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Duke Energy Corp, the biggest utility in the area with over 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages.

USA power companies said over 895,000 homes and businesses located mostly in North Carolina and SC were without power on Friday after Florence hit the Southeast coast.

Usually hurricanes this far north deliver their punch and quickly leave town.

The weather service later measured a storm surge 10 feet deep in the city, which lies on the Neuse River near the Atlantic coast.

In South Carolina there were 7,000 people staying in shelters.

The coast has been battered, and the mountains appear to be next. In previous hurricanes in North Carolina, residents lived in trailers while they rebuilt or found permanent housing.

An abandoned car's hazard lights continue to flash as it sits submerged in rising flood waters on Saturday morning after Florence struck Wilmington, N.C. "I was looking for water moccasins to hit me at any time", he said. Forecasters said this onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas.

The Federal Emergency Management Authority said motorists should not attempt to drive through floodwaters.

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