Hurricane Florence: Major Flooding, Damage, And Fake News About Sharks Swimming On Roads

Florence has made landfall. The biggest danger is flooding, which is already widespread. Here’s a round-up of all the overnight and morning news…

Here’s a round-up of the overnight morning news, starting with the most recent updates from the NHC:


From CNN:

(CNN)Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina, but its crawling pace and overwhelming storm surges are setting up hours and hours of destruction and human suffering — with dozens desperately awaiting rescue in one flooded town alone.

The Category 1 hurricane, with wind of more than 90 mph and dumping 3 inches of rain an hour, made landfall at 7:15 a.m. ET near Wrightsville Beach, just east of Wilmington.
Florence’s center may linger for another whole day along coastal North and South Carolina — punishing homes with crushing winds and floods and endangering those who’ve stayed behind.
In the besieged North Carolina town of New Bern, rescuers plucked more than 100 people from rising waters, but about 150 more had to wait when conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet.
“In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest,” said Peggy Perry, who along with three relatives, was trapped early Friday in her New Bern home. “We are stuck in the attic.”
Officials urged residents there to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including rooftops.
Florence’s rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.
By Friday morning, Florence already had:
• Sapped power to nearly 437,000 customers in North and South Carolina, emergency officials said.
• Pushed in a storm surge of 10 feet above normal levels in Morehead City, North Carolina, the National Weather Service said.
• Forced more than 60 people to evacuate a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after part of the roof collapsed, city officials said.
• Canceled more than 1,300 flights along the East Coast through Friday.


From Fox:

Forecasters said the terrifying onslaught would last for several hours, because Florence was barely moving along and still drawing energy from the ocean.

The USGS said the tide in Emerald Isle, N.C. was 7 feet above sea level, while coastal streets flowed with frothy ocean water. More than 400,000 people had already lost power by 8:30 a.m.

Nearly 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.

Forecasters said conditions will continue to deteriorate as the storm creeps inland. Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet of rain, touching off severe flooding.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to seek shelter and stay alert.

“Don’t relax, don’t get complacent. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill. Today the threat becomes a reality,” Cooper said.

Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it’s unclear how many did. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

In Jacksonville, N.C., about 70 occupants – including an infant, other children, and pets – were evacuated from the Triangle Motor Inn after hurricane-force winds collapsed portions of the hotel’s roof. The evacuees were taken to the Jacksonville Center for Public Safety while authorities searched for more permanent quarters during the storm. Jacksonville is about 60 miles northeast of Wilmington.

Forecasters said that given the storm’s size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.


From this morning:


In no particular order:


This caused some controversy for a while:

But according to LEX18:

Currently there is a post circulating on social media that says Florence “now contains sharks.” It should go without saying that this is not true. But just in case you need to read it here…IT’S NOT TRUE.

Shark hoaxes are fairly common during natural disasters involving flooding. As a matter of fact, last year the same thing happened with Hurricane Harvey.


The Washington Post is reporting that the image originates from a pretty well-known fake TV still generator, Break Your Own News. Normally, the image bears a prominent watermark indicating the source, but some have blurred it out before sharing.