Florence’s landfall like being under a power shower


Our Wilmington hotel is full of journalists, evacuated families and their dogs.

On the eve of Florence everyone was ready to find out what she might actually deliver.

In the early hours the nine-storey building began to shake. We quickly lost power as a wicked wind howled outside.

After days at sea she had finally come to town – making what sounded like a pretty dramatic entrance.

By morning Hurricane Florence had made landfall – those hours of direct impact were like being buffeted around under a power shower.

Anyone who stepped outside for just a few moments was instantly drenched and battered by punishing winds.

ISS shot of Hurricane Florence


International Space Station view of hurricane

Downgraded to a category 1 she was still packing quite a punch. The strongest gusts ripped off part of a nearby metal roof sending debris flying.

Elsewhere far worse was happening. Tragically a fallen tree killed a woman and her baby in their home. They did not live inside a mandatory evacuation area.

Water is usually the cause of hurricane deaths. Flooding caused by heavy rain and storm surge can be deadly.

The rain kept lashing and water in estuaries rose to as much as 10ft. Enough to devastate homes and trap people who had stayed put inside.

Flamingos relocated in preparation for Hurricane Florence.


Dozens of Flamingos relocate for Florence

People who had decided to try and ride it out quickly changed their minds as hundreds of calls were made to the emergency services.

The families we met today were the lucky ones. They could afford a comfortable hotel that would ultimately keep them safe.

One couple I spoke to said although it was hard choosing what to leave behind – none of that really mattered – they were safe.

The Hole family with their three children said for them this turned out to be more of an adventure than a trauma.

Hunkering down in a hotel with torches and snacks will probably rank pretty high in childhood memories.

More from Hurricane Florence

floodwaters rise as people are rescued due to hurricane Florence


Hovercraft rescuers save people from Florence floods

For many more the experience was far less pleasant. Thousands crammed in to shelters to wait it out – knowing that their mobile home or small house may not be standing when they eventually return.

Florence hasn’t finished yet. Heavy rain will likely continue for days bringing miserable conditions.


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