Hurricane Florence hits Carolinas, slows to crawl with storm surges and flooding

A current rendering of Hurrican Florence and its location as of 10:30 am est. Image screen capture 'Google Crisis Response'

Cherokee Nation chips in with eight-man special operations water rescue team, with boats, ATVs, search and rescue truck

Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning at 7:15 am near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, though the storm has now been downgraded to a Category 1, the slowing of the hurricane has brought excessive rain, flooding and storm surges.

FEMA, National Guard and other first responder teams have been making rescues to hundreds of people stranded in the floods. Freeways, homes and hotels have been affected.

In addition to the National first responders, The Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma sent an eight-man special operations water rescue team, with special equipment including boats, ATVs and a new search and rescue truck to North Carolina Thursday to help with rescue efforts related to Hurricane Florence.

“The Cherokee Nation is not just going to sit idly by and say ‘poor them’,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a release. “The Cherokee Nation is fortunate to have the equipment, resources and trained marshals and emergency management staff capable of responding to any Type III FEMA disaster and search and rescue effort. Anytime we can help our family or any citizen, we’re going to pitch in and get there.”

Other people on Twitter have posted regarding the effects of Florence. Debbie-Sampson tweeted: “My friends father in-law is safe in the Carolinas he is at a tribal safe house... So thank goodness for that.”

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus posted to Twitter that though Florence is only a Category 1, she shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of damage.

“Based on its central pressure, Hurricane Florence was one of the most powerful Category 1 hurricanes ever to make landfall in the U.S. -- on par with Superstorm Sandy. Pressure (and storm size) is a better gauge of a hurricane's ability to create storm surge flooding.”

CNN has posted a lot of close calls regarding those who did not heed the order that caused over 1 million people to evacuate.

At the Pungo River one woman showed frighteningly high ocean water levels outside her home.

Latest updates

Winds: Category 1 winds are expected in North and South Carolina up until Saturday. Wind gusts of up to 92 mph were recorded at the Wilmington, NC airport.

Floods: At 3 inches of rain per hour, catastrophic flooding is expected. The National Hurricane Center’s director Ken Graham, says. "You're going to have flooding miles and miles inland."

Threatened areas: According to the the National Weather Service Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for South Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. Surges of 10 feet had been reported early Friday Morehead City and elsewhere in North Carolina.


For more information, visit the National Hurricane Center website at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling

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