WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hurricane Florence already has inundated coastal streets with ocean water and left tens of thousands without power, and more is to come.
Screaming winds bent trees and raindrops flew sideways as Florence’s leading edge battered the Carolina coast Thursday.
The storm’s intensity diminished as it neared land, with winds dropping to 90 mph (135 kph) by nightfall. But that, combined with the storm’s slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.
Forecasters said Florence’s surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.