Updated 1200 - 09/14/18
Hurricane Florence, currently a category 1 storm, made landfall this morning at around 0715. It currently is located about 20 miles southwest of Wilmington. The storm is moving toward the west-southwest near 3 mph. Florence will bring hurricane force winds, dangerous storm surge, catastrophic flooding and heavy rainfall Friday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 80 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend out 70 miles from the storm's center while tropical storm force winds extend 195 miles.
A wind gust to 75 mph was recently reported at the National Ocean Service station in Wrightsville Beach, and a 72 mph gust was recently reported at a Weatherflow site just north of Cpae Fear at Federal Point.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect. The high-winds have the potential to cause devastating to catastrophic damage, including:
- Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
- Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over.
- Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
- Widespread power and communications outages.
The National Weather Service in Newport has issued a Storm Surge Warning. A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, somewhere within this area within the next 36 hours. Storm surge 7-11 ft. from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, locally higher amounts in the Neuse, Pungo, Bay and Pamlico Rivers.
A flash flood watch has been issued for Eastern North Carolina. Rain will be a major impact from this storm. The National Hurricane Center is predicting in excess of 20 inches for coastal North Carolina. The rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding.
Swells generated by Florence are affecting the coast of Eastern North Carolina. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. The National Weather Service in Newport has issued a high rip current risk for coastal portions of Eastern North Carolina.
Being prepared before hurricane impacts Eastern North Carolina can help keep you and your family safe. Here's information on forming emergency/evacuation plans from the National Hurricane Center:
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items: Prepare A Disaster Supplies Kit
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Make Emergency Plans
Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
- Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan - [PDF]
- Be sure to plan for locations away from home
- Business owners and site locations should create Workplace Plans
- Make sure schools and daycares have School Emergency Plans
- Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offer information on animal health impacts in evacuation shelters.
- Prepare your boat and be aware of marine safety if you are on or near the water.
Health & Environment
Follow guidelines to guard your community's health and protect the environment during and after the storm.
- Review the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) health considerations before, during, and after a storm.
- Remember to follow the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) food and water safety guidelines during disasters.
- Review the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggestions for health and environmental safety in disaster preparedness.
- Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
- Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.
- Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.
- Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.