The long, slow, slog is underway. As 500-mile-wide Florence moves further into North Carolina, she’s bringing storm surge, winds, flooded roads and downed power lines.
The winds are not as strong as initially projected, but they’re already having an impact with the help of what could be record-breaking rainfall. Reid Hawkins is the Science and Operations Officer with the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
"If we get 30-35 inches in this area, that will be the highest rainfall amount in North Carolina in its history. And we’ve seen what we had with Hurricane Floyd. We saw what we had with Matthew two years ago. It’s just going to make travel treacherous, and the one thing I will tell people: do not drive through water. Turn around. Don’t drown."
Even if you think water across a road is shallow, the road itself could be undermined or washed away, says Hawkins.
City of Wilmington officials say reports of downed power lines and power outages are on the rise, and they are strongly urging people to stay inside and off the roads throughout the day.