Palm trees bending in the wind. Foaming seawater that rolls over the beach with force. Rain whipping against windows. The hurricane “Florence” is not yet hit on land, since North Carolina gets to feel its destructive power. On Thursday evening, according to the authorities, more than one hundred thousand households in the state on the US East Coast without electricity.
In Morehead City, the National Weather Service measures three-meter-high tidal waves. In the city of New Bern, the Neuse River overflows its banks. On videos you can see how the waterfront is completely under water. The staff of the local station WCTI TV have to leave their editorial office because the streets around them are flooded.
And the fear of the floods that could come is great everywhere. On the coast of North and South Carolina, several rivers flow into the sea, even in cities further inland, it could come to flooding.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgrades “Florence” from category two to one on late Thursday night (local time). The cyclone is moving extremely slowly at less than ten kilometers per hour towards the coastal area around the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. According to the forecast, the center of the storm with strong wind and heavy rains could last a long time over the coastal region. The experts expect that the water load of “Florence” pours on the country for up to four days.
In Myrtle Beach further south on the South Carolina coast, where the storm could hit on Saturday, the first signs of the storm are already palpable. It winds hard. Since 7.00 pm (local time) a curfew has been imposed in the city. It should last until 7.00 am on Friday. But not everyone sticks to it. In front of a “Waffle House” in the northwest of the city park several cars, the yellow-black neon sign of the fast food restaurant promises Hungry Refuge. The chain has made a name for itself with the fact that their restaurants remain open during heavy storms and storms when others have long since.
Again, it is the only store far and wide that is open. Inside, despite the glaring light of the neon lamps and the somewhat dismal furnishings, there is a soothing homeliness. A waitress also addresses strangers as “baby”. Her colleague calls the latest orders through the room. On the greasy grill fry greasy potato pancakes and burgers. How long do you want to stay open? Until you have no more food.
Outside, the wind has gained some strength. At an intersection, the traffic lights sway threateningly at their cables. Rainwater has collected in potholes. Every now and then a police car drives down the street.
Late in the evening, the center of the storm is 80 kilometers south of Morehead City, North Carolina.