In low-lying towns, residents decide whether to face Florence head on

In low-lying towns, residents decide whether to face Florence head on

By Adam Owens, WRAL anchor/reporter There is a reason a Carteret County town is called Sea Level. To get there, you travel a road that rides only a little higher than the water on both sides. The land is low, so many homes are raised high. Franklin Salter, 80, said Wednesday that he and his wife are staying for Hurricane Florence. He has some idea what he is up against. He remembers past storms, like…

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Outer Banks man to Florence: “Kiss my grits”

Outer Banks man to Florence: “Kiss my grits”

By Ken Smith, WRAL anchor/reporter A handful of residents still in the Outer Banks on Wednesday pride themselves on being resilient in the face of any storm, including Hurricane Florence. Jim Rose, owner of Sand Spur Ocean Cottages, is taking the few days of downtime this week to get his cottages ready for the end-of-summer season. He put up a sign some will understand instantly: “Kiss my grits.” The line comes from the 1970s sitcom…

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Time to evacuate and hunker down: NC coast preps for Florence

Time to evacuate and hunker down: NC coast preps for Florence

Raleigh, N.C. — As mandatory evacuations are in place for Beaufort, Dare, Pamlico and Tyrrell county beaches (Atlantic, Indian, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Ocracoke, Carolina, Kure, Wrightsville, Topsail, Currituck Outer Banks, Oak Island and Holden), most people are heeding the warning and getting out in advance of Hurricane Florence. During a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper said there are 750,000 to 1 million people under evacuation orders. “If you aren’t under…

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Along Neuse, residents hope Florence flooding stays at bay

Along Neuse, residents hope Florence flooding stays at bay

By Bryan Mims, WRAL reporter Hurricane Florence comes less than two years after the historic flooding from Hurricane Matthew. Areas across the state, like Goldsboro, are still recovering. Along the Neuse River, people are praying for the water to stay at bay. Brenda Sigmon knows a hurricane can roil that river right into her mom’s living room. It happened before, and she fears it will happen again. And if it does, she said, “I have…

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While NC coast braces for Hurricane Florence, the bar that never closes has shut down

While NC coast braces for Hurricane Florence, the bar that never closes has shut down

The Tackle Box Tavern is a small rectangle of a building that borders the sand here in Atlantic Beach. And in the 11 years since Janice Bynum has owned the place, it has never been closed for a full day, so long as she could remember. “Christmas, Thanksgiving, everything,” she said, with pride, thinking of how the tavern was open on those days, and every other day, even during other storms. She thought about that…

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List of shelters in greater Triangle where you can stay during Hurricane Florence

List of shelters in greater Triangle where you can stay during Hurricane Florence

Updated Sept. 15, 9:45 a.m. Groups offering shelter may email metroeds@newsobserver.com. Wake County ▪ 1 p.m. at Heritage High School, 1150 Forestville Road, Wake Forest ▪ 2:30 p.m. at Middle Creek High School, 123 Middle Creek Park Ave., Apex ▪ 4 p.m. at Sanderson High School, 5500 Dixon Drive, Raleigh Wake County reported Wednesday night that the following shelters, previously opened, are now full. ▪ Shelter for New Hanover County residents (priority) at Southeast Raleigh…

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First responders get in place for Hurricane Florence

First responders get in place for Hurricane Florence

Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Hurricane Florence as seen from the ISS on Monday morning. (Photo: Ricky Arnold / ISS) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington first responders are geared up and ready for Hurricane Florence. Wilmington Police are planning to be in place for at least seven days straight. They plan to have officers stationed at different buildings and spots throughout the city for the duration of the hurricane. – Advertisement – Chief Ralph…

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How You Can Help With Hurricane Preparations In Charlotte

How You Can Help With Hurricane Preparations In Charlotte

Nonprofit organizations around Charlotte are looking for extra help as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Carolina coast. The Red Cross has plans to open five emergency shelters around Mecklenburg County, and local homeless shelters are anticipating high demand as the storm approaches. If you’re looking for opportunities to help out, here are a few: Red Cross Emergency Shelters The American Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help staff emergency shelters in Mecklenburg County and…

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After Hurricane Matthew damage, Robeson prepares for Florence

After Hurricane Matthew damage, Robeson prepares for Florence

By Rosalia Fodera, WRAL reporter Lumberton, N.C. — The floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 flooded Lumberton’s water plant backup generator and the control room. On Wednesday, crews were working to protect the water plant with a berm and sandbags. People who live in the areas that were hit hard by those floodwaters said they’re not taking any chances with Hurricane Florence coming. Linda Brewer Norris’ home was damaged by Hurricane Matthew. After spending thousands…

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What you can expect from Hurricane Florence

The powerful storm is getting closer to Wilmington and Southeastern NC. Here’s what you need to know. >>READ MORE: Click here for complete coverage of Hurricane Florence. As Hurricane Florence draws closer, the region will begin seeing impacts from higher surf to increased winds. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the storm was a Category 3, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and gusts ranging higher. Florence could strengthen more through Wednesday and is expected…

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Florence and the coastal dilemma: How long will it hover?

Florence and the coastal dilemma: How long will it hover?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oddly, the closer Hurricane Florence gets to land the murkier its future gets. Usually when a storm approaches the coast, forecasters can tell with ever increasing accuracy where it will hit and who will get walloped. But not Florence. – Advertisement – That’s because the weather systems that push and pull a storm disappear as Florence nears land around the border between North and South Carolina. The storm is expected to slow down, stall…

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2K evacuees, 1,500 emergency responders: DOT prepares for Florence

2K evacuees, 1,500 emergency responders: DOT prepares for Florence

By Janine Bowen, WRAL.com editor Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation on Tuesday was helping to evacuate coastal residents and preparing emergency supplies ahead of Hurricane Florence’s arrival. According to the DOT, more than 2,100 people and 1,074 vehicles had been evacuated from Ocracoke Island, Cedar Island and Swan Quarter. Following the final ferry departure Wednesday morning, all operations have been suspended and ferries will be secured until weather conditions improve. Although…

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What should I do when a hurricane approaches?

What should I do when a hurricane approaches?

Putting together a hurricane “survival kit”? Here are three-day and 14-day checklists of items you’ll want to include. Be sure to check out the WRAL video of some items you might not be aware you will need if you’re without food, clean water or electricity. Three-day supply kit Start with an easy to carry, watertight container – a large, plastic trash can will do, or you can line a sturdy cardboard box with a couple…

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Clear yard before hurricane's winds make lawn furniture into projectiles

Clear yard before hurricane's winds make lawn furniture into projectiles

By Monica Laliberte, WRAL executive producer/consumer reporter In the hours you have before the rain and winds move in, homeowners can take steps to limit any damage Hurricane Florence might do. Check the trees in your yard. Prune dead branches that are weak enough to break off when the wind picks up. Clear debris from storm drains, and do a quick check of your rain gutters. Any clogs there will back up onto your property,…

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See how Florence's storm surge could affect where you live

See how Florence's storm surge could affect where you live

(Source: Pixabay) SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – With Hurricane Florence bearing down on southeastern North Carolina, the storm is expected to bring a violent storm surge to the region. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has put together an interactive online map that can show potential storm surge flooding where you live. Forecasters believe the storm surge could reach in excess of 10 feet, especially as its eyewall jams close to the New Hanover County and Pender…

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Hotels canceling reservations ahead of Florence

Hotels canceling reservations ahead of Florence

People are wondering what to do after their Florence plans have fallen through. (Source: FEMA) WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – As Hurricane Florence closes in, some people are finding their plans for riding out the storm are changing at the last minute. Several members on the WECT Community Voice Facebook page posted about finding out the reservations they had made for a room at a hotel in Wilmington or another interior area in New Hanover County…

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5 p.m. update: When will Charlotte feel the effects of Hurricane Florence?

5 p.m. update: When will Charlotte feel the effects of Hurricane Florence?

Hurricane Florence, which initially was expected to be a late-week and weekend visitor in Charlotte, now is expected to dampen the early part of next week. And it’s potentially bringing more rain and a greater risk of flooding. The National Hurricane Center now expects the Charlotte area to get 6 to 12 inches of precipitation from the storm in the coming days. Isolated areas in the higher elevations of both Carolinas could get as much…

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Homeless during Hurricane Florence? Here’s where you can go, and how others can help

Homeless during Hurricane Florence? Here’s where you can go, and how others can help

Four shelters opened Wednesday at Charlotte high schools and another will open Thursday morning as Hurricane Florence moves toward the coast of the Carolinas. The shelters are primarily meant for coastal evacuees, although Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management deputy director Robert Graham said Charlotte-area residents who haven’t found shelter with friends or family can come to the high school shelters, too. “We’re not going to turn anybody away,” he said. All five shelters — at East Mecklenburg,…

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How to prepare your house for Hurricane Florence: Tips from people who blow up houses

How to prepare your house for Hurricane Florence: Tips from people who blow up houses

Take it from the folks who blow up homes for a living, there are some common-sense steps to take now that will help prepare yourself and your home for the approaching storm. Hurricane Florence is expected to strike land and begin lumbering westward sometime Saturday morning, bringing a combination of torrential rains and gale-force winds to the Charlotte area. Duke Energy estimates up to 3 million of its customers in the Carolinas could be without…

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Southeastern N.C. shelters filling fast in advance of Florence

Southeastern N.C. shelters filling fast in advance of Florence

Hundreds of area residents were flocking to county shelters in Wilmington, New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender on Sept. 12, in advance of Hurricane Florence. Hundreds of area residents were flocking to emergency shelters in three coastal counties Wednesday in advance of Hurricane Florence. “It’s hectic, really hectic,” said Dan Prelich, an American Red Cross worker who was supervising the shelter at North Brunswick High School in Leland. Some 20 people slept at the shelter Tuesday…

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US says transfer from FEMA funds won’t harm hurricane relief

US says transfer from FEMA funds won’t harm hurricane relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump administration officials pushed back Wednesday against a Democratic senator’s claim that nearly $10 million from the government’s disaster relief agency was transferred to immigration enforcement. Sen. Jeff Merkley’s claim, which came as a monster hurricane barreled toward the Carolinas, was quickly branded by Homeland Security as “a sorry attempt to push a false agenda.” – Advertisement – The Oregon senator said the administration took $9.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management…

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Duke Energy plans for restoring power after Hurricane Florence

Duke Energy plans for restoring power after Hurricane Florence

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Duke Energy projects as many as three million customers could lose power for an extended period of time because of Hurricane Florence. “That is our worst-case scenario,” said Howard Fowler, Duke Energy Storm Director. Fowler and Duke Energy North Carolina President David Fountain briefed reporters on the company’s planned response to the massive storm. “People can be without power for a very long time,” Fountain said. “Not just days, but weeks.”…

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Why does FEMA’s Brock Long take Florence so seriously? Because he remembers Hugo.

Why does FEMA’s Brock Long take Florence so seriously? Because he remembers Hugo.

For North Carolina native Brock Long, Hurricane Florence is personal. Long, who grew up in Newton, was 14 in 1989 the night Hurricane Hugo swept in, toppling trees and damaging buildings. “Hurricane Hugo . . . came right over my house,” he told CBS News Tuesday. “We were out of power for 10 days. I was out of school I remember for two weeks. This storm is setting up to be very similar to that…

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‘Don’t play games with it’: Florence takes aim at Carolinas

‘Don’t play games with it’: Florence takes aim at Carolinas

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — People who thought they were relatively safe from the onslaught of Hurricane Florence began boarding up and Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency Wednesday as uncertainty over the path of the monster storm spread worry along the Southeastern coast. Closing in with terrifying winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and potentially catastrophic rain and storm surge, Florence is expected to blow ashore Saturday morning along the North Carolina-South Carolina line,…

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Florence could flood hog manure pits, coal ash dumps

Florence could flood hog manure pits, coal ash dumps

Hurricane Florence’s heavy rains could cause an environmental disaster in North Carolina, where waste from hog manure pits, coal ash dumps and other industrial sites could wash into homes and threaten drinking water supplies. Computer models predict up to 3 feet of rain in the southeastern corner of the state, a fertile low-lying plain veined by brackish rivers with a propensity for escaping their banks. Longtime locals don’t have to strain their imaginations to foresee what…

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East Coast military bases brace for Florence

East Coast military bases brace for Florence

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Navy is moving people and ships ahead of Hurricane Florence , and the Air Force and Army are flying advanced aircraft elsewhere as a safeguard. Some remaining Marines, meanwhile, are digging in their heels. Florence is headed for a region with some of the most well-known military bases in the country, including Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island in…

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Jim Cantore talks memes, 'very dangerous' Florence outlook

The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore is a legendary figure in hurricane reporting and he arrived in Wilmington Monday. WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — As Southeastern N.C. settled into Hurricane Florence Watch over the weekend, it also kept an eye out for another arrival — Jim Cantore. The seasoned meteorologist for The Weather Channel has long been the face of hurricane coverage for the 24-hour weather network. Wherever they go, he goes. In Southeastern N.C., ask anyone who has been…

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Cooper: Plan to be without power for days after Florence

Cooper: Plan to be without power for days after Florence

Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians that Hurricane Florence is a storm that shouldn’t be taken lightly. (Photo: CNN) RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians that Hurricane Florence is a storm that shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Every county and every person in North Carolina needs to stay alert and take this storm seriously,” Cooper said. – Advertisement – Despite newer forecasts showing the storm turning south, it has the…

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Carolina Beach boardwalk businesses boarded up in preparation for Florence

Carolina Beach boardwalk businesses boarded up in preparation for Florence

Silver Dollar on Carolina Beach boardwalk boarded up, ready for Hurricane Florence (Source: WECT) CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) – Businesses along the Carolina Beach boardwalk are boarded up as the town prepares for the wrath of Hurricane Florence. The town issued a mandatory evacuation Monday evening. That evacuation started Tuesday morning. All residents are ordered to be off the island by no later than 8 p.m. Wednesday. Dava Villapinano, owner of the Silver Dollar on…

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Smartphone apps to download before Florence

Smartphone apps to download before Florence

Zello, ReadyNC and GasBuddy are among the recommended downloads before the storm arrives. WILMINGTON – Power outages and faulty internet are all but guaranteed as Hurricane Florence bears down on the region. But this isn’t 1954, when Hurricane Hazel beat and battered the area to a devastating degree and the only form of communication was a landline. Today, weather officials recommended residents use one of the most power tools in their arsenal for prepping for…

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Watch Hurricane Florence live from Coast Guard tower webcam

Watch Hurricane Florence live from Coast Guard tower webcam

Want an up-close look at Hurricane Florence? Watch the video below to see live footage from an old Coast Guard light tower, 32 miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. If current storm projections are correct, that won’t be far from where Florence makes landfall. [embedded content] One camera, mounted on the tower’s helipad about 100 feet above the water, should capture long views, along with the hurricane-force winds whipping the American flag. Shortly…

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Florence temporarily closes Grand Strand Medical Center, including ER

Florence temporarily closes Grand Strand Medical Center, including ER

Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Emergency Room Entrance (Photo: Pixabay) MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — The Grand Strand Medical Center — including its emergency room — closed Wednesday morning ahead of Hurricane Florence. The ER closure, effective at 8 a.m., is temporary and in compliance with Gov. Henry McMaster’s medical evacuation order, said Julie Kopnicky Tyre, Grand Strand Health director of marketing and public relations, in a press release. – Advertisement – “In light of the mandatory medical evacuation,…

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‘Disaster is at the doorstep’ and Hurricane Florence ‘may be a marathon,’ NC governor says

‘Disaster is at the doorstep’ and Hurricane Florence ‘may be a marathon,’ NC governor says

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper continues to stress that residents be prepared and not take Hurricane Florence lightly as it appears likely to impact the Carolinas in the days ahead. “My message is clear: Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in,” Cooper said during a Wednesday morning press conference. “This may be a marathon — not a sprint.” Cooper encouraged people at the coast to leave now, while there is still time to do…

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Hurricane Florence: Road and bridge closures

Hurricane Florence: Road and bridge closures

Bridges expected to close due to hurricane winds (Source: WECT). SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – As Hurricane Florence moves into the area, transportation officials expect a significant number of traffic issues and road closures. Several bridges are also expected to close. WECT will update this list as information becomes available. Bridge Closures Isabel Holmes Bridge: Expected to close when wind speeds reach 30 miles per hour. Ocean Isle Beach Bridge closed Wednesday. Snow’s Cut Bridge closed Wednesday. Wrightsville…

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Thousands without power along the NC coast Thursday as Florence approaches

Thousands without power along the NC coast Thursday as Florence approaches

This story was updated on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Nearly 15,000 N.C. electric cooperative customers were without power Thursday afternoon along the North Carolina coast as the effects of Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas. Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative reported nearly 13,000 members without power around 4 p.m., according to the co-ops outage map. About 9,400 of those outages were in Carteret County, which includes Morehead City. Tideland Electric Membership Corporation reported another 1,400 members affected, about…

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Live updates: Charlotte remains in Florence’s path for heavy rains, tropical storm wind

Live updates: Charlotte remains in Florence’s path for heavy rains, tropical storm wind

Florence drops to Cat 1, but still ‘life-threatening’ Thursday, 11 p.m.: Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane but was delivering “life-threatening storm surge” along the NC coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. Florence had 90 mph winds, and the “threat of freshwater flooding will increase” in the days ahead, according to the advisory. The storm was about 60 miles east of Wilmington. Islamic Center opens doors to evacuees Thursday, 9:24…

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As Hurricane Florence looms, flight cancellations begin at Charlotte’s airport

As Hurricane Florence looms, flight cancellations begin at Charlotte’s airport

This story was updated at 11:40 a.m. Thursday. With Hurricane Florence approaching, the first wave of flight cancellations later this week at Charlotte Douglas International Airport started Wednesday, but the airport remains open. Staff at Charlotte Douglas will move to 12-hour shifts and activate the airport’s irregular operations plan starting Friday evening, and assist any stranded passengers with needed supplies. Airport workers were securing equipment and sweeping building roofs and other areas for debris ahead…

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Wave Transit cancels bus service ahead of Florence

Wave Transit cancels bus service ahead of Florence

Wave Transit cancels bus routes ahead of Hurricane Florence. (Source: WECT) WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Wave Transit suspends bus services as they prepare for Hurricane Florence. The transit authority tweeted Wednesday morning that bus service will end at noon. They say it will also be canceled Thursday.  Wave asks you to call the public hotline at 910-798-6800 or visit the New Hanover County Emergency website for more resources and information. Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.

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Brad Panovich Takes A Closer Look At Florence's Southerly Route

Brad Panovich Takes A Closer Look At Florence's Southerly Route

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is foreboding in his assessment Hurricane Florence. “This storm is a monster. It’s big and vicious. It’s an extremely dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane.” The path of Hurricane Florence has changed since Cooper made that statement Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center says it’s now expected to hit Wilmington and then veer west, taking it south of Charlotte. WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich told WFAE Morning Edition host Marshall Terry that the shift…

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All flights canceled at ILM; several flights at RD affected by Florence

All flights canceled at ILM; several flights at RD affected by Florence

Due to Hurricane Florence, flights at Wilmington International Airport stopped Wednesday. (Source: ILM) WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Multiple flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) have been cancelled Thursday morning as Hurricane Florence approaches. All flights in and out of Wilmington International were cancelled Wednesday. For the latest on the status of flights out of RDU, click here. Copyright 2018 WECT. All rights reserved.

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Florence could slow down and pound, drench Southeastern NC

Florence could slow down and pound, drench Southeastern NC

Hurricane Florence could drop more than 20 inches of rain in places, bring 12-foot storm surge 11 p.m. update: Hurricane Florence continues to churn toward the U.S. mainland with potentially highly destructive winds and enough rain to thoroughly drench and possibly flood much of Eastern North Carolina. But perhaps the most dangerous part of the storm is its future speed. “Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday,” stated the 11…

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How is Hurricane Florence likely to affect Charlotte?

How is Hurricane Florence likely to affect Charlotte?

This story was last updated at 11:30 p.m. Thursday ▪ Charlotte could see nearly 11 inches of rain, enough to cause flooding. Forecasters say the bulk of the rain will arrive starting late Friday, and go through the weekend. ▪ The region has a better than 60 percent chance of seeing tropical storm-force winds (39 mph or higher), according to the National Hurricane Center. ▪ Areas to the south and east of Charlotte could see…

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Strategic response team discusses Hurricane Florence plans

Strategic response team discusses Hurricane Florence plans

(Source: WECT) SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – They’re experts in dealing with natural disasters like hurricanes and they work alongside our first responders. Members of Strategic Response Partners arrived in Wilmington on Tuesday to talk about their work before, during and after Hurricane Florence.  The SRP team is going to businesses, like hospitals and nursing homes, and making sure those buildings are secure once the storm hits. Then they help first responders in assisting victims….

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Experts: Hurricane Florence could be a deadly storm

Experts: Hurricane Florence could be a deadly storm

Officials stress folks to evacuate because lives are much more important than property — or tempting Mother Nature SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Homes destroyed. Entire streets under water. Power outages through next week. Monster waves crashing ashore. And the overarching message from the experts: Hurricane Florence could be deadly. You can replace things, including your house, they said. You can’t replace people. “Right now, it’s time to get out of harm’s way,” said Tom Collins, emergency management…

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North Carolina Universities Cancel Classes, Close Residence Halls To Prepare For Florence

North Carolina Universities Cancel Classes, Close Residence Halls To Prepare For Florence

Updated 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 Universities around North Carolina have been making preparations ahead of Hurricane Florence, which has been upgraded to a Category 4 major hurricane with maximum possible wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.   As officials around the state have urged residents to be prepared, universities have done the same. East Carolina University canceled classes after noon on Tuesday and announced a mandatory evacuation notice for students. Residence…

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Florence kicks up gnarly waves for local surfers

Florence kicks up gnarly waves for local surfers

Wrightsville Beach saw a handful of surfers early Tuesday take advantage of Hurricane Florence’s influence WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH – Brendon Jacobsen beat the sun to the beach Tuesday morning. The local surfer had his board in the waters off Wrightsville Beach before 6 a.m., just as the sun started peaking on the horizon. This, he said, was the magic hour for catching the waves churned up by Hurricane Florence, still hundreds of miles off the coast….

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Hurricane Florence: Things you need to know

Hurricane Florence: Things you need to know

SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – The National Weather Service issued a hurricane warning Tuesday morning for the entirety of the Carolina coast. Flood watchers have also been issued.  If you are inside the warning area, or a watch area you should put your preparation plan in place.  Here are some things you may need to know as Hurricane Florence approaches the Carolinas. State of Emergency and Evacuations Many areas along the coast have issued voluntary or even mandatory evacuations…

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