Hurricane Florence: Top things to know Friday as the storm begins to affect the Triangle

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Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach around 7 a.m. Friday. The storm is expected to move inland through southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina throughout Friday and Saturday, but the Triangle is already feeling the effects of the storm.

1. By Friday morning, more than 16,000 residents in the Triangle lost power. Duke Energy, the N.C. Electric Cooperatives and smaller utility companies have reported that more than 500,000 customers, mostly in the eastern counties, had lost power by Friday morning. That number is likely to increase as stronger winds reach the Triangle. ABC11 meteorologist Don Schwenneker said the Triangle still has a good possibility of seeing 50 mph or higher winds. Schwenneker said RDU had already seen 40 mph gusts. Parts of the area, he said, could go over 70 mph. Schwenneker said the winds will top out in the Triangle between 3 and 8 p.m. Friday.

2. Less than an inch of rain had accumulated Friday morning in Raleigh, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday. Schwenneker puts the Triangle estimates at 5 to 10 inches through Tuesday, with the northern parts of the Triangle in the 3 to 5 inch range and southern areas getting up to 9 or 10 inches.

3. Know what spots in the Triangle typically flood. Here’s a list of all the areas in Apex, Chapel Hill, Durham, Holly Springs, Raleigh, Wake Forest and Mooresville that typically flood (The list includes interactive maps of the flood-prone areas in most of those cities and towns).

4. More than 21,000 people escaped to North Carolina’s 157 emergency shelters by Friday morning. Emergency shelters in the state are not requiring identification to receive assistance. Here’s a list of emergency shelters operating in the Triangle.

5. Emergency crews have rescued about 200 people in New Bern. Hurricane Florence’s torrential rain caused the Neuse River to overflow onto roads and much of Craven County on Thursday. In some places in the county, the water level has managed to hide the tops of mailboxes and creep into the first and second-story homes in low-lying areas.

6. A Wake Forest animal adoption center took in 124 dogs this week. Earlier this week, hundreds of people lined up at Saving Grace Animal Adoption’s facility to volunteer to foster the dogs over the weekend, when Hurricane Florence is expected to do the most damage in the Triangle. All 124 were placed in a home.

7. Eight McClatchy newsrooms across North and South Carolina are covering Hurricane Florence around-the-clock. In addition to The News & Observer, our sister papers in the Carolinas have sent reporters and visual journalists to the coast to give you live updates on the storm. Here’s a list of all their Twitter handles, plus the link to their live updates on Friday of Hurricane Florence on the coast.