Hurricane Florence makes landfall
September 14, 2018 -- Hurricane Florence crashed into the Carolinas as a giant, slow-moving storm, ripping apart buildings and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses as it settled in for what could be a long and extraordinarily destructive drenching.
Forecasters said the onslaught would last for hours and hours because Florence was barely creeping along at 9 km/h and still drawing energy from the ocean.
Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington, not far from the South Carolina line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.
Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland over the next few days as Florence crawls across the Carolinas.
Forecasters said Florence's surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 3.4 meters of ocean water.
Florence was seen as a major test for FEMA, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared last year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which was blamed for nearly 3,000 deaths.