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Science

Hurricane Dorian unearths Civil War cannonballs on South Carolina beach

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Two Civil War cannonballs have been discovered on a South Carolina beach in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

A spokesman for the City of Folly Beach told Fox News that some seashell hunters spotted a suspicious item in the area of the old Coast Guard Base at the east end of Folly Beach. “It was reported to us as potentially older unexplored ordnance,” he explained, via email. “As per our policy, we notified the Charleston County EOD team who also responded and assisted with notifying the military EOD team.”

“It was determined to be a cannonball (one larger 8” shell and one 3” shell),” the spokesman added. “We were advised the military EOD team will handle disposing of the ordinance.”

Folly Beach is located on Folly Island, a barrier island near Charleston.

The cannonballs were found in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
(Rocky Burke, deputy director of public safety, City of Folly Beach)

During the Civil War, the area was occupied by Union troops from 1863, according to the city’s website.  The troops overcame “jungle-like foliage” to build roads, forts, an artillery battery, the city explains. “Eventually Folly Island had the capacity to hold up to 13,000 troops and their equipment,” the city says, adding that that island was used as a base for the battle to retake Fort Sumter.

This is not the first time that Civil War cannonballs have been found on a Folly Island beach. LiveScience reports that a pile of 16 corroded ordnances was uncovered as a result of Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Civil War sites and artifacts from the era regularly offer fresh glimpses into the bloody conflict. A Civil War-era gravestone linked to the infamous Quantrill’s Raid, for example, was recently discovered in a Kansas forest.

Union Forces were based in the area during the Civil War. (Rocky Burke, deputy director of public safety, City of Folly Beach​​​​​​​)

Earlier this year archaeologists in Delaware located the gravestone of a Civil War soldier that may provide a vital clue in uncovering a long-lost African-American cemetery.

Experts working at a property near Frankford, Sussex County, found the headstone bearing the name “C.S. Hall” and the details “Co. K, 32nd U.S.C.T.” This refers to Company K of the 32nd U.S. Colored Troops, which was a designation for African-American soldiers, according to Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.

The site is known to the local community as containing the remains of African-Americans who lived in the area, officials say.

The cannonballs were spotted by seashell hunters. (Rocky Burke, deputy director of public safety, City of Folly Beach)

Other Civil War finds have also been made in recent years. Last year, for example, the remains of two Civil War soldiers were discovered in a surgeon’s burial pit at Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia. Also in 2018, a vacationer on a North Carolina beach captured drone footage of Civil War-era shipwreck.

In 2017, forensic linguists said they have likely unraveled the mystery surrounding a famous Civil War-era letter, long believed to have been written by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 2015, the remains of a Confederate warship were raised from the Savannah River in Georgia. The following year, the wreck of a large iron-hulled Civil War-era steamer was discovered off the coast of North Carolina. The ship, which was found off Oak Island, N.C, was tentatively identified as the blockade runner Agnes E. Fry.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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World News

Brit rescued by Royal Navy after Hurricane Dorian hits the Bahamas

A British woman is among several people rescued from rubble by the heroic Royal Navy in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Three children, not thought to be British, were also freed in the massive operation by the armed forces in Elbow Cay on Great Abaco Island.

It is understood they were trapped for several days.

The Wildcat helicopter, operating from Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Mounts Bay, took the casualties for treatment at hospitals. The extent of their conditions are not yet known.

The cyclone has killed 20 people and become the worst hurricane in the US' history.

"The children were in a poorly condition and required immediate medical care.

"It was hugely rewarding to use my training and skills to provide essential and immediate life-saving care to this family," said the Navy's Medical Officer Surgeon Lieutenant Rebecca Miles.


The Navy has helped other people across the stricken islands, including a woman, her two kids and a baby stuck elsewhere. It has been flying the Wildcat to the most-affected areas.

Lee Holborn, Flight Commander Lieutenant, said: "We are ready to provide assistance where necessary and it is always rewarding to know that you have made a significant difference, not only to the wider island, but to the individual families of those affected."

The crew has so far delivered shelter kits, ration packs and water. It intends to airlift relief to outlying, cut-off communities.

"RFA Mounts Bay's specialist crew and kit make her best placed to open the port and clear the airport runway so more international aid, including relief arriving from the United States, can reach the island," the armed forces' statement read.

RFA Mounts Bay has been in the Caribbean since June in preparation for the hurricane season and was re-tasked last week to sail to the Bahamas in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian, the Royal Navy said.

The ship has water carriers, hygiene and shelter kits on board, as well as the helicopter which is being used to fly over the area to assess the damage and airlift in supplies.

Captain Rob Anders, commanding officer of RFA Mounts Bay, said: "RFA Mounts Bay has been working alongside the Bahamian National Emergency and Management Agency and US Coast Guard personnel, using our Wildcat helicopter to conduct initial assessments on Abaco Island and we have landed reconnaissance troops ashore.


"I am pleased to be able to use our people and equipment to send water and food ashore to provide aid to the Bahamian people.

"We hope that our presence in the area in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian will provide some peace of mind and reassurance to all those affected."

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "The highly skilled crew and specialist equipment of RFA Mounts Bay have been on call since June to support our overseas territories and friends in the hurricane season.

"Its Wildcat helicopter has begun conducting reconnaissance flights of the Bahamas to help assess the damage and the crew have begun distributing UK aid.

"My thoughts remain with those affected and our world-class military will continue to assist the Bahamas government to offer relief and aid to those who need it most."



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World News

Hurricane Dorian downgraded to Category 2 as it moves ‘dangerously close’ to Florida

Hurricane Dorian was downgraded to a Category 2 storm Tuesday but continues to pack dangerous 110-mph sustained winds as it churns “dangerously close” to the Florida coastline, according to AccuWeather.

The monster storm that left at least five dead in the Bahamas — with the number expected to rise — is now 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, with tropical storm conditions forecast for the Florida shoreline as early as Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Millions have been ordered to evacuate along the Florida, Georgia, and Carolina shorelines, where governors issued states of emergency in anticipation of dangerous storm surges and tropic-force winds along coastal areas, AccuWeather said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam followed suit on Monday, declaring a state of emergency in his state.

“Hurricane Dorian is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate it may affect parts of Virginia,” Northam said in a statement. “I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions to make sure they are prepared as well.”

The Miami-based hurricane center said the storm system will likely stay off shore as it moves up the east coast, but will cause dangerous storm surges and high winds along the U.S. shoreline.

Dorian could also cause “a tornado or two are possible near the immediate east coast of Florida through tonight,” the center said.

The storm is the second most powerful Atlantic storm in modern history, lagging only behind Hurricane Allen in 1980.

Dorian hit the Bahamas with full force over the weekend, packing sustained winds of 185 mph and staggering gusts to 225 mph.

It left at least 5 people dead on the archipelago’s northwestern end, before settling over Grand Bahama Island for the better part of two days.

Government officials said more than 13,000 homes were destroyed by the storm, or roughly 45 percent of all the homes on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.

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World News

Hurricane Dorian – Attention-seeking stars and Instagrammers slammed for wildly inappropriate bikini and ‘belfie’ tributes to Bahamas dead – The Sun

ATTENTION-seeking Instagrammers have been blasted for their tone-deaf tributes to Hurricane Dorian victims featuring belfies and sexy bikini pictures.

The “disgraceful” posts were supposedly intended to send out “prayers” to the Bahamas – which has been devastated by the Category 5 storm.



At least five people are dead more than 13,000 have seen their homes destroyed by one of the biggest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the Atlantic.

But despite lives being ruined by Dorian, narcissistic social media users are using the disaster as an opportunity to post throwbacks to bikini pictures in a cynical bid to get likes, reports News.com.au.

In one post, an Instagram user posted a “beflie” picture of her bum in a red bikini along with the message: “Praying for the safety of this beautiful country #Bahamas”.

However, her picture has been met with a backlash with many users calling for her to delete with some calling it “disgraceful.”

One said: “This is disgusting, delete this.

A second wrote: “This is why I ignore that phrase in social media.”

Another post featured a woman posing seductively on rocks by the water wearing a purple bikini showing off her toned body along with the caption: “My thoughts and prayers go out to all my friends in the Bahamas.”




23
Credit: Instagram

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Credit: Instagram

Another shameless belfie picture was captioned: “SO sad to read in the news about #Bahamas one of the most beautiful beaches I visited and photographed, friendly people and happy.

“My heart goes out to the families that lost their homes Dorian left destruction, my heart is breaking to see. #prayforbahamas”.

Actress Sofia Vergara has also been slammed for posting about the deadly hurricane.

The Modern Family star posted a demure-looking photo of herself and a friend captioned: “Waiting for Dorian.”

However, some fans took exception to the post, with one writing: “‘I am a fan. But the waiting for Dorian comment was not funny.”

Another wrote: “That caption sounds insensitive. People are not gonna like it.”

But many users came to Sofia’s defence branding her critics “snowflakes” and accused them of overreacting.


Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in history as the 225mph killer edges towards Florida.

The category 5 monster made landfall in the Bahamas with devastating force on Sunday, reportedly killing a seven-year-old boy.

More deaths are feared from the mega-storm – which is now officially the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, bar one.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 225mph – tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.

MONSTER STORM

That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were even named.

The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980 – which had sustained 190mph winds but didn't make landfall at that strength.

Darren Henfield, Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage.

“We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen.

“We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and see for ourselves.”












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World News

Hurricane Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in HISTORY… as 225mph killer edges towards Florida

HURRICANE Dorian is now the second strongest Atlantic storm in history as the 225mph killer edges towards Florida.

The category 5 monster made landfall in the Bahamas with devastating force on Sunday, reportedly killing a seven-year-old boy.

More deaths are feared from the mega-storm – which is now officially the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, bar one.

On Sunday, Dorian's maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph, with gusts up to 225mph – tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall.

That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were even named.

The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980 – which had sustained 190mph winds but didn't make landfall at that strength.

Darren Henfield, Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage.

“We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen.

“We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and see for ourselves.”






 

But the people of the Caribbean nation received no respite today as the storm continued to pummel the islands after slowing to almost a complete stop.

Deadly Dorian hovered over the country, shredding roofs, hurling cars and forcing rescue crews to halt their searches to seek cover.

The system crawled along Grand Bahama Island at just 1mph, as it creeps towards the US mainland.

Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama, warned locals: “We need you to bunker down.

“It's going to be another 10-12 hours that we're going to be bombarded with this.”

Officials revealed they were getting desperate calls for help but rescuers can’t go out themselves in the violent weather.

Thompson said: “They are ready to get into those areas as soon as the weather subsides.”

As many as 13,000 homes have been severely damaged or destroyed, according to a statement from the Red Cross.






The storm is now heading straight for Florida, sparking fears for thousands of holidaymakers.

Dorian is due to strike Orlando on Wednesday morning and skirt up the Florida coast, according to current predictions.

Most theme parks there including Disney were this weekend still operating normally, but are monitoring the storm's path.

Around 1.5million people have been evacuated from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida as the monster storm approaches.

Residents were pictured stocking up on emergency supplies like food, water and batteries, while others boarded up homes and businesses to protect them as best they could.

More than 1,000 flights within, into, or out of the US have also been cancelled today, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.

As Dorian bears down, pilots from the US Air Force have taken incredible photos of the eerily calm conditions inside the eye of the hurricane.

One image shows a phenomenon known as the “stadium effect” in the centre of the storm, which makes the clouds around the eye rise up on all sides until it looks like a giant sports arena.

Winds in the wall of clouds closest to the middle are the strongest – at a massive 225mph in the case of category 5 Dorian.

But in the centre the sky above is clear and the air is eerily still, creating the illusion that the storm has passed.




















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Science

A cocktail of weird Caribbean weather is making Hurricane Dorian's path especially hard to predict

  • Hurricane Dorian, currently a major Category 3 storm, is expected to makelandfall in Florida on Monday as aCategory 4 hurricane.
  • The hurricane hasn’t quite followed the path that scientists initially anticipated. A pocket of high atmospheric pressure is causing it to veer left.
  • The direction of the storm determines whether it passes over warmer waters, which could affect its intensity.
  • Read more about Hurricane Dorian:Photos reveal the damage so far,what spaghetti models can and can’t tell us,information on flights,why storms are getting stronger and wetter,what hurricane categories mean, andtips for how to prepare.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more.

Hurricane Dorian is sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean on its way to the Bahamas and Florida, where it is expected to make landfall asa Category 4 storm on Monday.

It’s currently a Category 3 hurricane, with wind speeds of 115 miles per hour. By the time Dorian hits Florida’s eastern coast, its wind speeds areexpected to reach 140 miles per hour — enough to damage homes, down power lines, andrender neighborhoods unlivable for weeks or months.

Current projections suggest the eye of the storm could make landfall near West Palm Beach, Florida, and it may first pass over the Bahamas, but Dorian’s exact path is still highly uncertain.

Predicting where the storm could make landfall has been challenging for forecasters because of a cocktail of weather conditions in the Caribbean, including warm water and an area of high pressure in the atmosphere. Here’s what we know so far and why information is still limited.

Hurricane Dorian’s path has shifted

Forecasters initially thought Hurricane Dorian could hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday, which prompted President Donald Trump to declare approve an emergency declaration for the US territory on Tuesday. Instead, the storm shifted east toward the Virgin Islands, causing widespread blackouts in St. Thomas and St. John and sporadic power outages in St. Croix.

Hurricanes like Dorian start out over warm ocean water near the equator, where the sea’s surface temperature isat least 80 degrees and the air is humid. The rising moisture creates a cluster of thunderstorms, which form a vortex, like water circling a drain.

The churning winds then create an area of low pressure over the ocean’s surface, which allows more air to enter. Once the winds in that spinning storm system reach 74 miles per hour, a hurricane has formed.

Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

In Dorian’s case, the storm system is lopsided, with a large cluster of thunderstorms pulling the hurricane east. This allowed the hurricane to avoid passing over the mountains of Puerto Rico, which would have cut off its supply of moisture and heat and reduced its intensity.

On Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said thatmost reliable hurricane models agree that Dorian will move west and pass near or directly over the Bahamas on Sunday. But after that, the NHC said, predictive models disagree about exactly when and where the storm will turn toward the US.

Caribbean weather makes predicting Dorian’s landfall difficult

At the moment, Dorian is “very gradually turning toward the left,” according to the NHC. That behavior is strange, sincetropical cyclones passing through the same location typically re-curve to the right.

The reason for this odd pattern is a pocket of high atmospheric pressure called the Bermuda High, which essentially acts like a road block that pushes the storm in a new direction. If the Bermuda High is strong (the more likely scenario), that would push Dorian toward the Florida Peninsula. If it’s weak, it could steer the hurricane toward Georgia and the Carolinas.

Figuring out how a storm intensifies is “a vexing problem,” Brian Haus, a researcher who simulates hurricanes at the University of Miami, told Business Insider.

“It’s pretty well understood that if the water is warmer and it’s causing more moist air to come up, you have the potential of a storm to grow quickly and intensely,” Haus said. “The question is how much that’s going to happen.”

As Dorian passes through the Gulf Stream, the warm water there will cause the hurricane to gain strength. But its severity will also depend on whether it passes over the Bahamas’ northernmost islands or continues to hover over warm water.

The storm could also intensify due to shifts in wind shear — the change in wind speed or direction that comes with a higher altitude. Dorian’s wind shear is expected to weaken as it approaches Florida, meaning the storm is likely to get worse.

“Uncertainty is always a tough thing to communicate,” Haus said. “I would love to know exactly where this storm is going to go, how strong it’s going to be, and what that means for my house in Miami.”

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World News

‘Killer’ Hurricane Dorian will devastate Bahamas and Miami THIS WEEKEND

A TERRIFYING 130mph cyclone will devastate the Bahamas and Miami this weekend after strengthening to a "life threatening" category 4 storm.

Hurricane Dorian has been described as an "absolute monster" by Donald Trump who has cancelled a trip to Poland over the storm crisis.


Dorian is gathering pace crossing the warm Atlantic and is expected to bring apocalyptic winds when it eventually makes landfall in the US.

Forecasters predict the hurricane will quickly strengthen to a catastrophic Category 4 when it hits the mainland.

It's due to smash into central Florida by Labor Day Monday – a US bank holiday when the Sunshine State will be packed with tourists.

The eye of Dorian is expected to hit the east and north of Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas later today – where warnings are already in place.

Florida's governor has now extended a state of emergency to cover all of the state, including multiple tourist destinations.

Ron DeSantis took the step as authorities cancelled some commercial flights, planned precautions at rocket launch sites along the Space Coast.

He also put 2,500 National Guard troops on alert.

No evacuations have been ordered as yet but many are expected ahead of Monday.

'CATASTROPHIC DAMAGE'

Spurred on by warm late-summer waters, Dorian is predicted to pack winds topping 130mph, warned the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).

That would make it a Category 4 storm, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale which measures hurricane intensity.

"There is an increasing likelihood of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Florida east coast late this weekend or early next week, although it is too soon to determine where the highest storm surge will occur," the NHC said.

"Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they are in a hurricane evacuation zone, and listen to advice given by local emergency officials."

Dorian is likely to make landfall on Florida's eastern coast before lingering over central Florida on Tuesday.

However, tropical storm-force winds could begin in parts of Florida as early as Saturday evening, weather experts warn.


"All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts," said governor DeSantis.

"As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant.

"Do not wait until it is too late to make a plan."

NASA footage – taken from the International Space Station on Thursday – shows the vortex gaining in power just north of Puerto Rico.

Dorian was packing maximum sustained winds of 85mph on Thursday morning some 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, and about 370 miles east of the Bahamas.

TRUMP TRIP SCRAPPED

In an address to the nation last night, President Trump warned: "It really began to form, and form big.

"Now, it's looking like it could be an absolute monster."

Earlier, Trump cancelled the planned visit to Poland this weekend so he could remain in the US to monitor the storm's impact.

He is sending Vice President Mike Pence in his place as he wants to make sure federal resources are properly directed at the arriving storm.

In the tweeted video from the White House rose garden, Trump added that food and water supplies were hurriedly being shipped to Florida.

And he said of the impending storm: "It does seem almost certain that its hitting dead centre and that's not good.

"The winds seem to be building at a tremendous rate.

"It looks like the winds are going to be unbelievably high."



Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands managed to avoid the brunt of the hurricane this week – with only light damage and flooding reported.

But the increasingly menacing-looking storm system will draw energy from the warm open waters as it closes in, forecasters say.

University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy warned: "If it makes landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, that's a big deal."

No immediate mass evacuations have yet been ordered as the exact path of the storm remained unclear.

Local governments along Florida's east coast yesterday began distributing sandbags while shoppers rushed to stock up on supplies.

Supermarket shelves were cleared and motorists topped up their tanks and filled petrol cans – sparking shortages in some areas.

DANGER FLOODS

Dorian is expected to pick up steam as it pushes out into warm waters with favourable winds.

Forecasters said the coastal areas of southeast Florida could be deluged with up to 15 inches of rain in some places triggering life-threatening floods.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also declared a state of emergency ahead for 12 counties closest to the state's 100 miles of coastline on Thursday.

He signed an executive order that will free up state resources for emergency preparations and response and also prohibit price gouging for goods and services such as gasoline.

The 500-mile cone of uncertainty indicates that the hurricane could be affect anywhere from coastal southern Georgia to the Florida keys.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian have now began rerouting their cruise ships ahead of the looking weather front..

Major airlines began allowing travellers to change their reservations without a fee.

A Rolling Stones concert Saturday at the Hard Rock Stadium near Miami was moved up to Friday night.

The hurricane season typically peaks between mid-August and late October.

One of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US was on Labor Day 1935.

The unnamed Category 5 hurricane crashed ashore along Florida's Gulf Coast on September 2 – killing more than 400 people.








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Technology

Nasa watches as Hurricane Dorian grows to monstrous size over the Atlantic

Nasa has released a stunning image showing the moment Dorian officially became a hurricane.

The storm was declared to be a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday when it swirled through the islands of the northeastern Caribbean, causing power outages and flooding in places but doing no major damage.

‘Hurricane conditions are expected in the US and British Virgin Islands, Culebra, and Vieques,’ Nasa wrote yesterday.

‘Tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico today with hurricane conditions possible.

Heavy rainfall over portions of Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands could produce flash flooding during the next couple of days. Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States later this week and into early next week.

‘The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds is increasing in the central and northwestern Bahamas and along the Florida east coast, although it is too soon to determine where these hazards will occur. Residents in these areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place and not focus on the exact forecast track of Dorian’s centre.’

Hurricane Dorian moved out over open waters early on Thursday after doing limited damage in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, though forecasters warned it was gaining strength and probably would grow into a dangerous storm while heading toward the northern Bahamas and Florida’s east coast.

The US National Hurricane Center said Dorian was expected to strengthen into a dangerous Category 3 hurricane as it stayed well to the east of the southeastern and central Bahamas over the next two days.

The forecast called for the storm to pass near or over the northern Bahamas on Saturday and close in on Florida by Sunday afternoon.

Dorian caused an islandwide blackout in St. Thomas and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and scattered power outages in St. Croix, government spokesman Richard Motta said. In addition, the storm downed trees and at least one electric pole in St. Thomas, he said, adding that there were no reports of major flooding.

‘We are grateful that it wasn’t a stronger storm,’ he said.

There were no reports of serious damage in the British Virgin Islands

Dennis Feltgen, a Hurricane Center meteorologist in Miami, said earlier that Dorian would strengthen and could hit anywhere from South Florida to South Carolina.

‘This will be a large storm approaching the Southeast,’ he said.

People in Florida were starting to get ready for a possible Labor Day weekend strike, with county governments along Florida’s east-central coast distributing sandbags and many residents rushing to warehouse retailers to load up on water, canned food and emergency supplies.

‘All Floridians on the East Coast should have 7 days of supplies, prepare their homes & follow the track closely,’ Governor Ron DeSantis said in a tweet.

Later on Wednesday, he declared a state of emergency for the counties in the storm’s path.

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World News

Trump denies claim that he wanted to drop nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the U.S.

President Trump adamantly denied on Monday that he wanted to use nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from striking the U.S.

“The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous,” he wrote on Twitter. “I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!”

The president’s rebuttal comes after the news site reported that he had repeatedly suggested to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they look into nuking hurricanes as a way to prevent them from reaching the country. 

“I got it. I got it,” Trump once said at a hurricane briefing at the White House, according to a source. “Why don’t we nuke them?”

“[The hurricanes] start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it,” the source vaguely recalled the president saying. “Why can’t we do that?”

Trump’s recommendation purportedly stunned those in the room. 

“You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting,” the source told Axios. “People were astonished. After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the f—? What do we do with this?”

The leader of the free world had also suggested something similar in 2017, the news outlet notes. A memo from the National Security Council that year claimed that Trump had recommended using bombs to stop hurricanes from reaching the U.S., though it also pointed out that he did not use the word “nuclear.”

As absurd as it may sound, the idea of nuking a hurricane is nothing new. The concept, in fact, has been so widespread that the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had to explain why it was not scientifically possible to deter hurricanes from reaching the homeland by bombing them. 

“The main difficulty with using explosives to modify hurricanes is the amount of energy required,” the agency explains on its website. 

“If we think about mechanical energy, the energy at humanity’s disposal is closer to the storm’s, but the task of focusing even half of the energy on a spot in the middle of a remote ocean would still be formidable,” the NOAA further says. “Brute force interference with hurricanes doesn’t seem promising.”

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Science

How is snow formed? Science behind the UK’s cold weather

Snow is a bit of a mixed blessing. Many love it, and lots of places in the UK it’s rare enough to still be a bit of a treat – with apologies, of course, to those who live in parts of the country that get a lot of the white stuff.

Some predictions have suggested that 2019 would bring record low temperatures, incredible snowfall and snow hurricanes.

We certainly have had some freezing temperatures. Wales and Northern Ireland saw gusts as high as 55 miles per hour.

The wind, which has come from the Arctic, is making it seem like we have sub-zero temperatures, but thermometers might report them as higher by as much as seven degrees.

All of this means there’s a greater chance of snow, but what’s the science behind the white stuff and what causes it?

What is snow, how is it formed?

Snow forms as individual snow crystals when a very cold water droplet meets either a pollen or dust particle in the sky. This makes an ice crystal which will then fall towards the ground, as it does more water vapour freezes to it.

Why doesn’t it snow much in the UK?

We’re unlucky in this regard because, and you won’t believe this, most of England is too warm for snow most of the year.

We have reasonably mild winters in the UK because we are in the path of the Gulf Stream. Without it we would have winters as cold as Canada.

However theories have suggested that we might see a reduction in the warm sea currents that bring in the warmer air. If that happens then the UK would cool significantly – creating a higher chance of snow.

Is it too cold to snow?

You might have heard people say that it’s "too cold to snow" but in fact that’s not the case.

Heavy snow tends to fall when the temperature near the ground is around -10 degrees celsius. At around -18 degrees celsius heavy snow is much less likely because the capacity of the air to hold water vapour decreases.

So, on planet Earth, there’s always a chance of snow no matter how low the temperatures go.

Is every snowflake unique?

Not quite. The chances of finding two the same is tiny because every snowflake takes a different path to earth and forms in different temperatures.

That makes finding two the same very small indeed.

However snowflakes all form in a very similar way because the water molecules all line up in a specific way. Snowflakes will always have six sides though.

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Couple who lost home in Hurricane Michael just want to be with family for Christmas

Rex Clark and his wife, Carol, hunkered down in their Florida home during Hurricane Michael, only to have it be destroyed around them.

Interested in Hurricane Michael?

The couple was left with nothing but the difficult decision to move out and move on. Still, this Christmas, the only gift they asked for was to be with family.

“We’re just going to be together as a family, and truly that’s what it’s about,” Clark told ABC News’ Brad Mielke for the ABC News podcast “Start Here.”

“We demanded nothing. We said ‘Do not bring us anything except yourselves, because that’s what we want for Christmas: we want our family with us.’ And that’s what we’re doing,” he said. “And I can’t think of a better way to spend it.”

Clark will celebrate the holidays at his new home in Alabama after losing what he and his wife called “the sunshine house” in Panama City, Florida. The light yellow, concrete structure with original oak floors built in 1947 was ravaged by the 155 mph winds and crushing rain of Hurricane Michael.

“It wasn’t big, it wasn’t fancy — but it was ours,” Clark said.

When the storm made landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm, the largest to hit since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the Clarks decided to hunker down and ride it out.

At the time, Clark described the chilling scene on the phone with ABC News’ Aaron Katersky. In the hours that followed, he said they “lost everything.”

Two months later, Clark recalled what it was like to assess the damage and the moment they escaped their crippled house.

“At the bottom of our steps is this 150-year-old oak tree that used to sit about five feet from our door. That was the tree that got slammed into our roof, and when the winds had changed direction, it spun off the roof, and that’s what took the roof off with it,” he said.

“We couldn’t get out the front door because it had landed right at the base of the steps and we couldn’t get around it — the back doors were blocked as well by trees,” he added. “We walk out and it was a very eerie silence watching my wife walk along this tree and just looking at [the house] she put so much of her heart and soul into.”

“The look on her face crushed me — it absolutely crushed me, because I could truly see in her eyes what I was seeing from her perspective. And I don’t think I’ll ever, I’ll ever forget that.”

The National Guard and Red Cross came in to help with emergency efforts along with neighbors in the community pulling together as more storms approached.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciated what they did. It was this little enclave and everybody helped everybody people helping each other put up tarps,” Clark said.

But to Clark’s disappointment, one company, who he said he would not name, tried to take advantage of him and his wife by putting a costly premium on a tarp for their roof.

“I will never ever ever forget that they wanted $1,000 to put a tarp over the hole in our roof,” he recalled, outraged when his wife showed him the contract. “I blew up.”

He continued, “I went and talked to my neighbors and 30 minutes later I had neighbors from next door, neighbors from across the street up on my roof, and an hour later my roof was tarped. That’s just an example of what people had to deal with is not only losing everything, but people coming in and just trying to take advantage.”

An insurance adjuster came within the week, and Clark said “every single wall was showing 100 percent moisture — that means they have to be torn out.”

Upon realizing the severity of the damage and that it could be years before their neighborhood bounced back, he said “we came to the decision that we did not want to rebuild.”

“We just didn’t want the stress of having to deal with it and just came to the decision that Panama City just wasn’t a place for us anymore,” he said.

The Clarks moved to Alabama about 50 miles from the Florida border. “We found a beautiful house, we found a nice quiet neighborhood, the people are wonderful. It’s peaceful. It’s giving us a break,” Clark said.

And after a difficult year, Clark said he “can’t think of a better way to spend” Christmas than with his family.

“Our daughter and son brought our granddaughter from New Orleans, and they’re going to celebrate it with us,” Clark said, “and we’re just going to be together as a family.”

This report was featured in the Dec. 24, 2018, episode of ABC News’ daily news podcast, “Start Here.”

“Start Here” is the flagship daily news podcast from ABC News — a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or the ABC News app. On Amazon Echo, ask Alexa to “Play ‘Start Here'” or add the “Start Here” skill to your Flash Briefing. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content, show updates and more.

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World News

Five more storms forecast before Christmas as 2,000 mile pressure vortex builds

Britons are urged to batten down the hatches as five more storms look set to lash the country before Christmas in what could be a record breaking year.

The UK is facing the stormiest early winter for years as a 2,000-mile wide ‘pressure vortex’ spanning the Atlantic threatens gale-force disruption from Wednesday.

So far three storms have hit the country this Autumn, with Ali and Bronagh arriving in September and Callum the month after.

Last night ex-hurricane Oscar’s 65mph gusts cancelled fireworks displays in the north of England.

And there is worse to come.



A giant low pressure ‘vortex’ spanning virtually the whole Atlantic could see gusts pushing 50mph, disrupting the south and west from Wednesday until the weekend, with wet and windy conditions continuing into next week.

Ex-BBC and Met Office forecaster John Hammond said: “This week, a huge vortex of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic will see the jet stream fling a succession of wet and windy spells towards UK.

“The potential for disruptive winds needs to be watched. Western parts are most prone. Several wet spells are expected.”


As Christmas nears five more storms are forecast to land according to The Weather Company, the world’s biggest commercial forecaster.

They will be called Deirdre, Erik, Freya, Gareth and Hannah.

If the turbulent weather does materialise it would make 2018 a record breaking one, with eight named storms hitting the UK in the year up until Christmas.

In 2015 – the year storms were first named – five landed, followed by two in 2016 and three in 2017.


Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at The Weather Company’s Weather Channel arm, said: “Four more named Atlantic storms are expected by early December, plus the risk of a fifth named storm before Christmas.

“Travel disruption and wind gusts over 90mph in parts of the North and West are expected.

“A stormy, mobile Atlantic pattern is forecast in early winter, before a colder pattern from New Year onwards as westerly winds ease.”

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World News

UK weather forecast: Hurricane Oscar threatens Bonfire Night with 70mph wind and heavy rain – here's how it affects YOUR fireworks display

Parts of the north west are expected to be hit with up to 60mm of rain over the coming days from Friday with southern and central part of England also seeing 15mm as the rain moves southeastwards.

Brian Gaze, the chief forecaster for the Weather Outlook, told The Sun Online: "Winds strengthen in the north west of the UK through Friday night with gusts of 70mph a possibility in exposed locations.
"It remains windy on Saturday with gusts of up to 60mph looking likely in north western England.
"The windy conditions will be accompanied by heavy rain in the north west.

"Further south and east it won't be as windy but gusts of up to 40mph could be enough to cause some problems for fireworks display organisers.


"Despite the rain it will be quite mild, temperatures could reach 15C (59F) locally.

"On Sunday the rain risk spreads southeastwards and there could be some heavy bursts mixed in across England.

"Cooler and showery conditions follow into the west.

Hannah Findley, meteorologist for the Weather Company, told The Sun Online: "The remnants of ex-Tropical Storm Oscar will begin to arrive late on Friday, lifting winds to moderate to fresh in Ireland, then transiting between Scotland and Iceland on Saturday before moving off to the north-east on Sunday.

"Winds will be fresh to strong, gusty at times and approaching gale force along coastal areas.

"Occasional gusts over 50mph will affect the far north-west of Ireland and Scotland. Widespread rain is expected initially, turning showery later on, with some moderate to heavy falls, mainly in the west.

"In western Ireland and western Scotland, 12 hour rainfall totals will be 10-30mm.

"Temperatures will increase widely on Saturday, in a strong south-westerly airflow, with maximum temperatures around 3 or 4°C warmer than on Friday."

A Met Office spokeswoman said: "Definitely a colder night ahead today, it looks like some of the coldest spots could be in Northern Ireland, where temperatures could fall to -7C in the coldest spots.

"Across England especially inland in the rural spots it could fall to -2/3C."

The effects of Oscar will be felt in Britain by the end of the week – but the violent storm is proving dangerously difficult to predict for weather experts.





Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: "Oscar's always been a tricky one and there's always been a lot of uncertainty regarding it.

"And at the moment, the most likely track will actually take us a little bit further North than we were thinking before."

At the minute, the National Hurricane Association, which has been tracking Oscar's path, thinks the hefty winds and rain could hit the UK late on Friday and early Saturday morning.

The majority of the winds are likely to hit in the north of Scotland – with possible highs of 80mph.


Katie Greening, meteorologist for the Weather Company, told The Sun Online: "Remnants of Oscar will arrive to the northwest of the UK Friday and pass in between Scotland and Iceland during the weekend.

"The southwest winds will begin to strengthen through Friday, reaching gale force inland over Ireland, Scotland and Wales during Saturday – gusts even higher with up to 80mph along the west coast of Scotland and Ireland and also along the Irish Sea coasts. Rain arriving over the north and west Friday, quickly followed by a second band of rain Saturday."

Friday is due to bring a bright start to the whole of the UK, although cold with temperatures ranging from 4-7C.

Through the morning, cloud with sweep across from the west and first showers will appear in the south of Northern Ireland from 3pm.

By 9pm on Friday Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north east of England will be engulfed by heavy rain and strong winds.

This stormy weather will worsen into the night and rain will spread to the south west of England by noon on Saturday.

Lighter but consistent rain will fall in the south west of England and Wales, while the East mostly stays dry.

London and the home counties are likely to see the last of the weekend's stormy rain falling on Sunday night.



 

 

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World News

Hurricane Willa makes landfall as powerful Category 3 storm near Mazatlan, Mexico

Threatening a major tourist resort area, the storm landed near Isla del Bosque in Sinaloa with winds of 120 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said during a special 7 p.m. MT advisory.
(NOAA)

Hurricane Willa made landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast on Tuesday night as a powerful Category 3 storm.

Threatening a major tourist resort area, the storm landed near Isla del Bosque in the state of Sinaloa with winds of 120 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said during a special 7 p.m. MT advisory.

Willa came ashore roughly 10 miles south of Escuinapa, and roughly 50 miles southeast of Mazatlan, a resort city that's home to high-rise hotels and about 500,000 people, including many U.S. and Canadian expatriates.

HURRICANE WILLA'S PATH: TRACK THE STORM HERE

Forecasters warned those in the area to "not venture out into the relative calm of the eye" because dangerous winds in the area "will suddenly increase as the eye passes."

Torrential rain in the area began Tuesday afternoon. Emergency officials said that more than 4,000 people were evacuated from coastal towns and close to 60 shelters were set up before the storm.

Hurricane Willa made landfall near Mazatlan, Mexico on Tuesday night as a powerful Category 3 storm.
(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

The federal government issued a decree of "extraordinary emergency" for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states.

Willa, according to forecasters, could bring 6 to 12 inches of rain, with up to 18 inches in some places, to parts of Jalisco, Nayarit and Sinaloa states, with flash flooding and landslides possible in mountainous areas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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World News

Hurricane Willa sparks evacuation of 10,000 people as Brit tourists told to take cover from ‘extremely dangerous’ 150mph winds

The Category 4 storm is set to slam into holiday hotspots like Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan later today.

Those in its path have been warned the raging tempest will bring colossal waves, 150mph winds, possible flash floods and even waterspouts – also known as sea tornadoes.

And authorities are taking no chances, urging thousands to flee before it’s too late.

Antonio Echevarria, governor of Nayarit, said more than 10,000 people were being evacuated and schools would be closed.

He said: "Let's not play the macho. Let's not act like superheroes. It's a very strong hurricane, very potent, and we don't want any tragedies."


A decree of "extraordinary emergency" was issued for 19 municipalities in Nayarit and Sinaloa states, the federal Interior Department announced.

Among the areas expected to be worst hit is Puerto Vallarta, where hotels near the resort’s famous sandy beaches have been ordered to get guests to safety.

Mayor Arturo Dávalos told Vallarta Daily: “We’re asking the hotels that are in the tourist strip to evacuate tourists and staff from now on to avoid some misfortune.”

Bars and restaurants in the area are closing and all activities and excursions are being cancelled.


Businesses have also been asked to remove sunbeds, umbrellas and other objects from beach to stop them becoming deadly “projectiles” in the powerful winds, the website reported.

Several other tourist getaways in Nayarit also lie near the path of the storm, which is forecast to bring a "life-threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall," the NHC said.

Elsewhere, in Mazatlan, staff boarded up hotels facing the historic downtown boardwalk.



Forecast to be one of the most powerful hurricanes to enter Mexico from the Pacific in recent years, Willa is expected to strike just a few miles south of the city.

At a petrol station on the outskirts, a steady line of cars have been queuing up to refuel and pick up supplies at the neighbouring shop.

Station attendant Zulema Pardo said residents had been streaming through for hours to stock up on basic items, buying enormous jugs of water and fuel, and leaving the bread shelf completely empty.

She said: "People are really scared. People are crazy and worked up."

Late on Monday the storm was advancing about 80 miles west of the Marias islands opposite Nayarit in Sinaloa, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

Willa was blowing maximum sustained winds of near 150 miles per hour on Monday night, the hurricane centre said.

Up to 18ins of rainfall could pummel the storm zone, the centre added.

Even buildings up to 1,640ft from the coastline could lose power and suffer physical damage, Mexico's National Meteorological Service warned.



 

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Science

Why hurricanes hardly ever hit Europe and the West Coast of the US

  • Hurricane Willa has grown into a Category 5 storm in the eastern Pacific and could be “extremely dangerous” to Mexico’s western coast.
  • North and Central America see most hurricanes from May or June through November, and scientists have warned that climate change could make these storms more severe and intense.
  • Since the year 2000, Florida has seen over 79 hurricanes — meanwhile, Europe hasn’t had a hurricane in over 50 years, but that could soon change.
  • Watch the video above to learn how some parts of the world avoid tropical storms and hurricanes.

You don’t have to live far inland to avoid hurricanes. Just move to Europe or the western coast of the United States. These areas rarely see full-on hurricanes. But that may soon change. As Hurricane Willa strengthens into a Category 5 storm and barrels its way towards the western coast of Mexico, watch the video above to find out why hurricanes rarely hit certain parts of the world.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Europe hasn’t had a hurricane reach its shore in over 50 years. Now don’t get the wrong idea. Hurricane season still brings a hefty dose of wind and rain. But Europe has something that North America doesn’t, when it comes to protection against hurricanes. Location.

Hurricanes usually form off the coast of West Africa, where warm water near the Equator and high humidity create columns of rapidly rising rotating air. It’s the perfect recipe for a storm. Now the more warm, moist air that the system picks up, the stronger it becomes. That’s why a tropical storms can quickly grow into a full on hurricane as it marches across the Atlantic. Now normally hurricanes are propelled on a westward track by the trade winds, caused by the Earth’s rotation. That’s why Europe as well as the West Coast of the US, rarely experience full on hurricanes. But that’s not the whole story.

After all, since the year 2000, remnants of around 30 hurricanes have reached Europe. For comparison, over the same time frame. By the time these remnants make landfall, they’ve went from a hurricane force, to a tropical storm or weaker. And that’s where Europe’s location comes into play. In order for a hurricane to head towards Europe, something crucial has to happen. It has to travel really far North by about 200 miles. Once a storm system reaches 30 degrees north, it encounters the subtropical jet stream. Which moves in the opposite direction of the trade winds. And therefore, blows the storm East But because the storm is now farther North, the waters underneath are colder by up to about five to 10 degrees Celsius. Which means less energy available to feed the storm. And as a result, it starts to die down by the time it’s headed for Europe. Even though it’s no longer a hurricane, it still packs a punch when it hits shore.

In fact, most of these hurricane remnants will combine with other nearby cyclones and weather fronts, that create high winds and rain that mainly hit Ireland and Great Britain. But have been known to reach as far as Greece or even farther in Northern Russia. Typical damages include power outages, flooding, and occasionally casualties. Most recently the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia made landfall in Ireland and Scotland in 2017. About 50,000 households in Northern Ireland lost power. Three deaths were reported and downed trees closed many of the public roads and highways. This was the worst storm that Ireland had seen in 50 years. And it may be a sign of what’s to come.

As global surface temperatures rise, it will also increase the sea surface temperatures in the Northern Atlantic. Which researchers estimate could contribute to an increase in the number of hurricane force storms that reach Europe. Some experts predict that by the end of the 21st century, Europe could experience, on average, 13 powerful storms each year during hurricane season. Compared to the two per year it sees now.

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Travel

Hurricane Michael forces Florida couple to marry at airport

On Oct. 10, Lorri and Jim Beary said “I do” inside the air hub – which, they admit, was not initially their dream venue.
(Jacksonville International Airport)

The wrath of Hurricane Michael couldn’t stop one Florida couple from marrying on an emotionally significant date, and the longtime pair happily tied the knot inside Jacksonville International Airport.

On Oct. 10, Lorri and Jim Beary said “I do” inside the air hub – which, they admit, was not initially their dream venue, WCTV reports.

Though the couple of eight years had planned to wed on Oct. 10, which the groom described as "the 10th day of the 10th year of the 10th month, that I had fallen in love with her,” Mother Nature had other plans.

Though the Tallahasseeans had intended to exchange vows at a Leon County courthouse, a plan six months in the making, the storm’s path of destruction closed the building and forced the Bearys to improvise. They were slated to jet to Italy for their honeymoon and wanted to make it there as husband and wife.

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"At the house, when he told me that the courthouse was closing, yes, I freaked and he calmed me down," Lorri recalled, News 4 Jax reports. “And he calmed me down and then started giving numbers to me of notaries in the area.”

After great searching, they connected with officiant Selecia Young-Jones, who agreed to marry the two at a place that practically never closes – the airport.

“I knew that they’d be flying out and I thought, ‘Well, it’s a great atrium and a beautiful place and a public place,” Young-Jones told the outlet.

“This is indeed the most unique [wedding] I’ve done so far,” she added.

Making it official on the special day of Oct. 10, Lorri and Jim said their vows in the middle of JAX, in a brief ceremony witnessed by total strangers.

Finally Mr. and Mrs. Beary, the couple said that wouldn’t have had it any other way. The spontaneous situation reminded them why they got together in the first place – a love of adventure.

“This just fits,” Lorri told News 4. “Flee a hurricane, come get married in the atrium in Jacksonville at the airport.”

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“I’m ecstatic because I’m now married to the man I love so deeply and he’s my best friend,” the bride added.

After their 10-day Italian honeymoon, the newlyweds plan to host a reception with family and friends. They’re hopeful that Hurricane Michael will have spared their home, too.

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World News

Hurricane Michael – girl, 6, ‘sexually abused by homeless man in emergency shelter’ where her family had fled from storm

John Thomas Stapleton, 60, was arrested after the sickening alleged incident at Davidson Middle School in Crestview, Florida.

The building was being used to house hurricane refugees and Stapleton is said to have used it as an opportunity to abuse the child.

He is accused of groping the youngster’s private parts in “lewd and lascivious” manner when she was out of her family’s sight.

The suspect was only nabbed after a witness told cops she saw the attack unfold via a live recording.

Police reportedly reviewed the footage before arresting Stapleton, with photos showing officers cuffing him against a car.


Hurricane Michael – the latest news:

  • The 'hell' storm slammed into Florida with devastating 155mph winds
  • Seven were killed including a Sarah Radney, 11, who was crushed by a metal gazebo
  • Some 1.4million people, and 1million homes, are now without power in the region
  • It caused a 14ft high storm surge which submerged and tore apart homes
  • 320,000 people disregarded mandatory or voluntary evacuation notices
  • 280 residents of Mexico Beach who ignored evacuation orders are missing
  • It has now been downgraded to a tropical storm after mauling Florida
  • Michael is now churning towards North and South Carolina


He admitted touching the child but denied it was sexual in nature and told investigators the girl said it “felt good”, according to the Washington Post.

Stapleton was charged and is due back in court on November 11.

An estimated 20,000 people hunkered down in shelters during Hurricane Michael, with as many as 320,000 people on Florida's Gulf Coast ignoring evacuation notices.

The death toll from the storm now stands at 17 – with officials warning it'll "keep climbing" as rescuers sift through the wreckage.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said: "Rescuers have so far been unable to conduct thorough searches there. I think you're going to see it climb."

Oceanfront communities such as Mexico Beach and Panama City bore the brunt of the storm's rage.

Shocking photos show the devastation in Mexico Beach – with some onlookers claiming the seaside town looked like it had been struck by a nuclear bomb.

Sarah Radney, 11, was killed when a metal-framed gazebo was picked up by winds and then crashed through the roof of her home on to her head.





According to Seminole County Emergency Management Agency Director Travis Brooks the schoolgirl died when the tent – used to cover a boat – was sent flying by the high winds.

He said 911 crews were able to get to Sarah at her devastated home in Georgia, at 1.50am this morning but she was already dead.

Elsewhere, Michael caused a 14ft high storm surge which submerged homes.

It has also been degraded to a tropical storm – but not before tearing through homes and ripping roofs off buildings.





Michael caught many by surprise as it intensified from a tropical storm into a Category 4 hurricane in about 40 hours.

It became the third-fiercest to hit the US — and the worst in Florida since 1935.

Its 155mph gusts were also the strongest recorded on the Florida Panhandle, the 200-mile strip on the north-western section of the state.

It was downgraded back to a tropical storm yesterday as President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency.



 

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World News

2 hospitals damaged by Hurricane Michael evacuating their 330 patients

Two hospitals in Florida are evacuating all of their roughly 330 patients due to damage from Hurricane Michael.

Interested in Hurricane Michael?

Bay Medical Sacred Heart, which sheltered 1,500 people — staff’s families, first responders and patients — from the storm Wednesday said Thursday that that although everyone is safe, the building was damaged and it is evacuating more than 200 patients.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center also announced in a statement that it’s evacuating its approximately 130 patients, starting with the most critically ill “because of the infrastructure challenges in our community.”

“Until we can be certain of stable public power, water and sewage systems, our patients will be safest in our neighboring hospitals,” the statement from Gulf Coast Regional said.

Both hospitals said they are keeping their emergency rooms open.

Bay Medical said on social media that it “sustained damage including windows blown out, cracking of an exterior wall and roof damage” when the hurricane hit the coast around Panama City on Wednesday. In a news release, the hospital said it also had water damage.

“A section of the roof collapsed in the hospital’s materials management building. … Hurricane Michael also caused substantial broken glass, cooling and plumbing issues and loss of information systems,” Bay Medical Sacred Heart said.

The hospital before the storm had taken in families and pets of hospital staff as well as first responders.

“All patients, family members and staff are safe and patient care will continue until the last patient is transferred,” hospital CEO Scott Campbell said after Hurricane Michael passed. “If patients do not have a family member or other support persons with them at the hospital, we are reaching out to their emergency contacts.”

Staff from Ardent Health Services in Nashville also were flying Thursday morning to Panama City to deliver 1,000 ready-to-eat meals to the hospital for patients, staff and their families. Ardent is the parent of Bay Medical Sacred Heart.

The hospital said patients, including 39 in intensive care, would be sent to Pensacola and Jacksonville in Florida as well as Mobile, Alabama. Evacuations were expected to be completed in 48 hours.

The first 29 patients left at 4 a.m. Thursday via ground ambulance, according to Martha Crombie, Ardent Health Services’ vice president of marketing and planning, Americas Division. A helicopter arrived at 7:24 a.m. CT to pick up another patient.

Crombie said the emergency room department at Bay Medical Sacred Heart remains open and was accepting patients.

“Our staff and physicians have demonstrated extraordinary dedication throughout this crisis, providing exemplary care for our patients,” Campbell said. “This has been a truly noble effort and we are deeply grateful for their sacrifice.”

Bay Medical Sacred Heart has established a toll-free number, 1-888-727-4568, to support communication with family members of patients who have been evacuated to another hospital. The hospital will also continue to provide updates through Twitter and Facebook.

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Lifestyle

How to help those affected by Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon as the strongest storm to hit the U.S. since 1969, and the third most powerful on record for the country.

Interested in Hurricane Michael?

Approximately 20 million people are either under a warning or watch for hurricane, flooding or tornadoes as a result of the massive storm, according to ABC News contributor Tom Bossert, former Homeland Security Adviser to President Donald Trump. Many have also already experienced the storm’s fury.

As the rest of the country watches the storm inundate the Southeast, it can be difficult to navigate the slew of humanitarian organizations and charity networks out there that are promising relief and aid for those impacted by the storm.

Below is a roundup of just some of the groups currently on the ground responding to areas impacted by Michael that have been approved by the nonprofit group Charity Navigator as highly-rated organizations.

The American Red Cross

Just weeks after responding to the devastation of Hurricane Florence, folks at the American Red Cross are preparing to provide relief to those in the path of Michael, especially those who have been forced to evacuate their homes as the storm hits.

“The Red Cross is working closely with state and local authorities in Florida, Alabama and Georgia to support evacuation centers for as many as 30,000 people who may need a safe place to stay during the storm,” Brad Kieserman, Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross, said in a statement.

The Red Cross is accepting donations to aid in their relief efforts through telephone, via text, and online. More information can be found here.

The organization is also encouraging those who can to donate blood, writing on their website: “Severe weather events like Hurricanes Florence and Michael often force the cancellation of blood drives and decrease donor turnout in affected areas. To meet the needs in these impacted areas and throughout the country, the Red Cross asks individuals to give blood.”

Americares

The health-focused humanitarian organization Americares is deploying an emergency response team to Florida to respond to Hurricane Michael, they announced today.

“Michael is on track to be a life-threatening hurricane,” Americares Director of Emergency Response Brian Scheel said in a statement today. “Our response team is on the way and ready to meet the health needs in affected communities.”

They are currently accepting donations on their website.

GlobalGiving

The nonprofit crowdfunding organization GlobalGiving, which supports grassroots charity projects on the ground in affected areas, has launched a Hurricane Michael relief fund.

The fund will support immediate relief efforts such as food, water and medicine, but also invest in longer-term recovery projects to help residents rebuild their community after the storm recedes.

Matthew 25: Ministries

The international aid and disaster relief organization Matthew 25: Ministries announced on their Instagram that they are deploying a response team to distribute aid to those impacted by Michael this weekend.

“We are prepared to respond as soon as the path of the storm becomes clear we are able to reconnect with our partners on the ground to ensure they are able to receive supplies,” Matthew 25’s CEO Tim Mettey said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who may be affected by this disaster.”

More information about how to get involved, volunteer or donate can be found on their website.

Matthew 25: Ministries’ Advance Disaster Response Team will depart on Saturday in response to Hurricane Michael. The team will assess damage, identify initial set-up locations, and distribute aid to people affected by the storm.? ? We will continue to post updates on our website and social media.

A post shared by Matthew 25: Ministries (@m25m_org) on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:39pm PDT

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Travel

Hurricane Michael: Eight cruise ships sailing altered itineraries to avoid storm

At least seven cruise ships carrying more than 20,000 vacationers have been forced to alter course this week to avoid Hurricane Michael. 

Cruise giant Carnival’s 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle on Tuesday skipped a call at Cozumel, Mexico, as it steered clear of the storm. The ship departed Tampa on Sunday on a seven-day voyage to the Western Caribbean. 

Also shifting course on Tuesday was Carnival’s 2,040-passenger Carnival Paradise, which is on a five-day voyage out of Tampa. The ship is sailing a reverse itinerary that will see it arrive in Cozumel on Wednesday and Grand Cayman on Thursday. 

The vessels joined four others at Carnival that had been forced to reroute earlier in the week due to Michael’s approach. On Monday, the Miami-based, 2,980-passenger Carnival Glory skipped a call at Grand Cayman and remained at sea to avoid the storm while the Galveston, Texas-based, 2,754-passenger Carnival Freedom dropped a call at Mahogany Bay in Honduras.

The New Orleans-based, 2,754-passenger Carnival Triumph and Miami-based, 2,764-passenger Carnival Victory are sailing reverse itineraries.

RELATED:  Michael affects more cruises | Michael a ‘potentially catastrophic’ Category 4 storm | Flights grounded across Florida Panhandle 

The storm also has forced Norwegian Cruise Line to alter the itinerary of one of its biggest ships, the 4,248-passenger Norwegian Getaway, and at least one Royal Caribbean vessel has seen its itineraries slightly adjusted.

Norwegian’s Miami-based Getaway called Tuesday at Falmouth, Jamaica, in lieu of Roatan, Honduras. On Wednesday, it substituted a call at Grand Cayman for Costa Maya, Mexico. 

On Wednesday morning, Royal Caribbean chief meteorologist James Van Fleet said in a tweet that the line’s 2,350-passenger, Tampa-based Majesty of the Seas would arrive back at its home port on Thursday several hours late due to the storm.  

Van Fleet also said Royal Caribbean’s 1,992-passenger Grandeur of the Seas might depart Baltimore two hours early on Thursday to steer clear of the storm. 

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Travel

Hurricane Michael: More cruise ships alter course as Category 2 storm barrels toward Florida

A strengthening Hurricane Michael on Tuesday forced more cruise ships to alter course.

Cruise giant Carnival’s 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle on Tuesday skipped a call at Cozumel, Mexico to avoid the storm. The ship departed Tampa on Sunday on a seven-day voyage to the Western Caribbean. 

Also shifting course on Tuesday was Carnival’s 2,040-passenger Carnival Paradise, which is on a five-day voyage out of Tampa. The ship is sailing a reverse itinerary that will see it arrive in Cozumel on Wednesday and Grand Cayman on Thursday. 

The vessels join four others at Carnival that have been forced to reroute this week due to Michael’s approach. On Monday, the Miami-based, 2,980-passenger Carnival Glory skipped a call at Grand Cayman and remained at sea to avoid the storm while the Galveston, Texas-based, 2,754-passenger Carnival Freedom dropped a call at Mahogany Bay in Honduras.

The New Orleans-based, 2,754-passenger Carnival Triumph and Miami-based, 2,764-passenger Carnival Victory are sailing reverse itineraries.

RELATED:  Hurricane Michael begins to impact cruises in the Caribbean | Michael strengthens to Category 2, approaches Florida | Airlines cancel flights 

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Where is Hurricane Michael now, how can I track it and why has a state of emergency been declared in Florida?

Here's what you need to know about the 13th named storm of the hurricane season and what preparations are being made ahead of its arrival.

Where is Hurricane Michael now?

Michael is currently located about 100 miles south west of the western tip of Cuba, packing maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

The tropical storm is expected to swell into a Category 1 hurricane as soon as Monday night or early Tuesday as it rolls into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

It is expected to dump 4 to 8 inches of rain – and as much as 12 inches in some areas – on western Cuba before it hits the United States.

Michael is now on track to hit the Florida Panhandle midweek as a Category 2 hurricane.

After hitting Florida, the storm is then forecast to move northeast along the Atlantic Coast and batter the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence last month.

That hurricane killed at least 50 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

How can I track it?

The National Hurricane Center provides regular updates on tropical storms and hurricanes.

A part of the United States Weather Service, the NHC responsible for tracking and predicting weather systems in the northeast Pacific and northern Atlantic oceans.

Why has a state of emergency been declared in Florida?

A Category 2 hurricane comes with speeds of between 96-110mph.

According the NHC “extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage” during a Category 2 hurricane.

It also says “near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks”.

Outer bands from Michael are expected produce as much as 4 inches of rain through Tuesday in the Florida Keys, one of several areas in the state devastated by Hurricane Irma last year.

In response to the threat, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in more than 20 counties and has put more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers on alert.

"This storm will be life-threatening and extremely dangerous," said the governor.

"This storm has the potential to bring devastating impacts to communities across the Panhandle and Big Bend and every family must be prepared."

 

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Life-threatening Cyclone Leslie set to U-turn and head straight for the UK

A huge storm bringing wind and rain could hit the UK if a life-threatening cyclone changes its track.

Cyclone Leslie is currently causing hurricane-force winds, in the Atlantic, off the coast of Bermuda.

And forecasters predict that the storm could do a U-turn and head directly for the UK, by the end of the week.

Met Office chief forecaster Andy Page told the Express: “Tropical Storm Leslie is currently in the central North Atlantic and is expected to remain there over the next few days.


“Leslie will likely strengthen to a hurricane as it moves over warmer waters on Tuesday and Wednesday, with large swells affecting Bermuda and east coast of US and Caribbean.

“It is likely to gradually weaken after this and to move eastwards across the north Atlantic.

“Some models suggest Leslie will track south of the UK while others suggest it may move close to the UK by the end of next week.

“It is too early to tell the exact impact on the UK but it will most likely bring a spell of strong winds and rain – the type of weather associated with low-pressure systems at this time of year.

A spokesman for the US National Hurricane Centre has warned the storm will drag a huge sea swell towards Bermuda and the Bahamas before changing direction on a new path towards northern Europe.

He said: “Large swells generated by Leslie will continue to affect portions of the southeastern coast of the United States, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and most of the Greater and Lesser Antilles for another day or two.

“These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.



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“The cyclone should move slowly southwestward to southward during the next couple of days.

“After that time, a shortwave trough to the northwest of Leslie is expected to allow the tropical cyclone to lift slowly north-northeastward.

“Regardless of the details of the forecast track, Leslie is still expected to meander over the central Atlantic through the remainder of this week.”

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Plague of ‘monster’ mosquitoes surrounds family trapped inside car

A plague of mosquitoes has been terrorising families in the US leaving terrified people trapped in cars and houses.

The swarms of ‘monster’ insects have been described as like something from ‘a bad science fiction movie’.

A terrifying video was shot by mum-of-two Cassie Vadovsky, after she returned home from picking her four-year-old daughter up from school in North Carolina, US.

"This is what we are having to deal with, I hope not everyone is having to deal with this, it’s so bad," she says.



The mum then warns her little one not to open the door, so she can prepare to make a swift run for the front door.

Another resident in North Carolina reported being swamped as he stepped out of his home to water his plants.

Robert Phillips said he was almost immediately swarmed by aggressive mosquitoes.

Phillips said, one type of mosquito was among the biggest he’s ever seen — at least 3/8 of an inch long.

“A bad science fiction movie,” he said. “They were inundating me, and one landed on me.

"It was like a small blackbird. I told my wife, ‘Gosh, look at the size of this thing.’ I told her that I guess I’m going to have to use a shotgun on these things if they get any bigger.”

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According to the Fayettevil Observer, Mr Phillips is among many residents reporting a mosquito outbreak unlike any they have ever experienced since the remnants of Hurricane Florence moved through the area.

The storm’s rainwater − nearly 20 inches in some areas − has created breeding grounds for large and aggressive mosquitoes.

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Hurricane Florence spurs truck driver to rescue dozens of dogs, cats from floods on school bus

Florence's floodwaters race through Fayetteville, NC

Jeff Flock reports from a neighborhood under water and without power.

When Hurricane Florence set its sights on the Carolina coast last week, Tony Alsup decided it was time for him to head into the storm zone to help clear out animal shelters in its path.

The 51-year-old trucker from Tennessee has transformed an old school bus into an animal transport on wheels, with the words "EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE SHELTER" on the side. In his first trip to South Carolina, Alsup was able to rescue 53 dogs and 11 cats, the Greenville News reported.

“I love it,” he told The Greenville News. “People don’t believe me, they say it’s got to be barking crazy. But no. They know I’m the Alpha dog and I’m not here to hurt them.”

In photos posted to Facebook, the group of dogs can be seen in kennels stacked to the roof hanging out in the back of the school bus awaiting their next stop.

Alsup also took a selfie with the bus full of kennels, writing "LET’S ROLL!!!"

"It’s all true – Tony swooped in at 4am Wednesday morning to pick up our ‘leftovers’ – the dogs with blocky heads, the ones with heartworm. The ones no one else will ever take. And he got them to safety," The Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown, S.C. said in a Facebook post. "Not the most conventional evacuation, but surely the one with the most heart.

WEAKENED FLORENCE REMAINS DANGEROUS AS IT WORKS ITS WAY NORTH

After picking up the animals in four South Carolina towns, Alsup transported the group to a shelter in Alabama, where they will be spread out to other shelters across the country and hopefully be adopted.

“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” he told the paper. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”

ANIMALS RESCUED FROM FLORENCE FLOODWATERS, AFTER PETS LEFT BEHIND OR FORGOTTEN

The 51-year-old has been involved in large-scale animal rescues using his bus since last year, when Hurricane Harvey inundated Texas with floodwaters and during Hurricane Irma. He felt compelled to help out after watching how shelters became overcrowded with lost or rescued animals.

“I thought, well what can I do?” he told the Washington Post. “I’ll just go buy a bus.”

After his trip to South Carolina, he has since headed back into the storm zone. In a series of videos posted to Facebook, Alsup said that he was headed towards the Lumberton area of North Carolina where a dam could possibly collapse after being overtopped by floodwaters spawned by Florence.

"Pray for those people in Lumberton that that dam doesn’t collapse, but we’re trying to get people and pets out of the way before this thing breaks," he said. "It’s better to be safe than sorry. Don’t be somebody who thinks its better to be lucky than safe, just get out of the way."

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

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Deluged by Hurricane Matthew, rural town waits for Florence

Nichole Worley looks out from her home in Lumberton, N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, as rains from Hurricane Florence threaten the neighborhood with flooding. Two years ago, Worley’s house, and most of the houses around her, took in water up to its eaves during Hurricane Matthew. “I don’t think we can stand another one,” she says. “I can’t do this again.” (AP Photo/David Goldman)

LUMBERTON, N.C. –  She takes a break from hauling rugs and family heirlooms into the attic to look out the front door and watch it rain and rain and rain some more.

Nichole Worley studies the house across the street, abandoned and boarded up, and the creek just behind it that made it that way. It jumped its banks during Hurricane Matthew two years ago, which drowned her neighborhood, one of the poorest communities in one of the poorest counties in North Carolina.

Half of her neighbors never came back. Now she’s watching the rain pound down again, terrified the other half may flee and also not return.

"I can’t go through this again," she says, wondering what little Lumberton and its 21,000 souls did to deserve all of this and how much more one town can take.

As Hurricane Florence roars across the Carolina coast, her town 70 miles from the sea is once again among those worrying state authorities most.

Forecasters warn rain will pour on them for days and the Lumber River that cuts through the middle of the city will continue to rise and likely spill out again. The flood could be as bad as the one two years ago that inundated entire neighborhoods and major highways. People were rescued from rooftops. Worley’s house, and most of those around her, took in water up to the eaves.

"I don’t think we can stand another one," she says. "I can’t do this again."

Lumberton, once the backbone of America’s textile manufacturing economy, has long been battered by a drumbeat of bad news.

First it was the withering of the blue-collar economy that plunged many rural communities like this one into poverty. The largest employer here, a Converse shoe plant that employed 3,000, shuttered. Other factories and mills closed, too. Unemployment rates shot up, and now 70 percent of the county’s children live in poverty.

Then came Hurricane Matthew.

"If you would have told me three years ago that there would be a biblical flood in Lumberton, I wouldn’t have believed you," says Donnie Douglas, the editor of the local newspaper, the Robesonian. He took doughnuts to a staff meeting a few days ago, telling employees he only brings treats for a once-in-a-lifetime flood. Now he’s brought doughnuts twice in two years. "I guess we need to build an ark."

His newspaper on Friday reported the Lumber River was expected to rise to 24 feet by Sunday, far above its flood level and on par with what it reached during Matthew.

"People are tired," Douglas says. "I’m tired. Our community has gotten swatted around."

He points to hopeful signs that this storm might not be as devastating: The river is lower than when the rains came in 2016, so there’s optimism it could stay in its banks. Emergency shelters filled up fast, an indication that people might be taking this storm more seriously. National Guard and city employees stacked 5,000 sandbags under an interstate overpass Friday afternoon, near where floodwaters swept into the city in 2016; ordinary civilians braved the rain and wind and falling trees to help.

But even if the city avoids another catastrophe, the threat of it and the days of waiting are causing residents to relive the nightmare, Douglas says. Lumberton is in the Bible Belt, where many believe that God will deliver them only as much as they can handle, and Douglas is certain a second calamity might test that faith for many.

"The county collectively is traumatized by what happened," he says. "And what might be happening again."

Alexis Haggins initially thought she’d stay put in the apartment she shares with two friends in a low-lying area devastated in 2016. The elementary school around the corner was deemed a total loss, shuttered and now sits abandoned. Many of the houses remain vacant and boarded up.

But then she couldn’t stop reliving that terrible day when Matthew’s floods came. She was driving when all of a sudden the water was up to her windows and the car started drifting. Haggins jumped out and took off on foot. She was beaten by falling limbs and pelting rain. Power lines fell around her, and she was sure she would be electrocuted. The mud sucked off her shoes, so she walked for miles barefoot until her soles were so bruised she could barely stand for days.

On Friday, she felt panic bubbling up. She imagined herself again up to her waist in water, fearing certain death. "If I would have to walk out of this house and into a flood, I would probably just drop to my knees and start crying," she says. "I can’t do it again. I can’t. I would just give up."

So she and her two roommates, Da-Rosh Wimbush and Shewanna Lewis, started frantically packing for a last-minute evacuation to Charlotte. Lewis, a mother of two toddlers, also lost everything in Matthew. They all moved in together to try to rebuild their lives.

In most disasters, the poor suffer disproportionately, and it is no different here. The neighborhoods struggling to rebuild after Matthew are the same neighborhoods most at risk to flood again. Haggins was barely getting by back then, crashing with friends. After the water receded, she tried to go collect the little she owned from her friends’ houses, but they’d all flooded and everything she had in the world was gone.

"I had to start from the bottom again," Haggins says. "And I was already on the bottom so I’m lower than the bottom."

"It was devastating," Lewis agrees. "I can’t afford to lose anything else."

The women pack the few possessions that fit in the car, stacking everything else on top of bunkbeds and countertops, and head for Charlotte — praying for the best.

Nearby, Nichole Worley decides at what point she’d be willing to leave: not until the flood reaches the bolts on the wheels of her car in the driveway.

She’s watching the rain, and it reminds her of the day two years ago when she finally fled. Her mother had congestive heart failure and was on dialysis; she was panting and choking. The power had been out for days. They realized they couldn’t wait any longer, so Worley and her husband put her mother in the car and tried to make it through the flood.

She put her arm out the window and could feel the water around them. They somehow made it across a crumbling bridge to get to the hospital, and just in time. The doctors said her mother could have died in minutes.

"God must have been on our side," she says.

They eventually returned to an unlivable house. Her husband borrowed against his 401(k) to rebuild and replace what they’d lost. Her mother died months later, and now her house is crammed with her mother’s things, which she can’t bear the thought of losing. So her nieces and nephews, waiting out Florence in her house, help her carry each piece one-by-one to the attic, just in case the water reaches the wheels and they have to go.

Worley and her husband have talked for years about leaving Lumberton. They almost didn’t come back after Hurricane Matthew. So many of her neighbors stayed gone, their homes boarded up, that this neighborhood she’s known all her life felt suddenly foreign and unfamiliar.

She worries if it floods again, it might just disappear.

So she stood at the door, watching for the water to come.

"The less I see," she says, "the happier I am."

___

Follow Claire Galofaro on Twitter at https://twitter.com/clairegalofaro 

___

For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit https://www.apnews.com/tag/Hurricanes

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Fears two hurricanes in Atlantic will merge and batter United Kingdom

Two tropical storms currently in the Atlantic could join together ahead of their arrival on UK shores, causing severe damage and disruption to thousands, it is feared.

Ex-hurricane Helene and newly-formed Joyce are predicted to bring 80mph gales, torrential downpours, flying debris and floods next week.

A ‘danger to life’ warning has been issued across swathes of the UK with fears roads, airports and other transport networks will be thrown into chaos.

But the ‘tropical’ nature of the storms will also see the mercury possibly hit as high as 30C after the weekend, according to forecasters.


The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for wind across north-west and south-west England, Scotland and Wales from Monday night until Tuesday lunchtime.

However the systems have not officially been named as ‘storms’ yet by the forecaster.

Spokesman Grahame Madge said the level-one yellow alert may be upgraded depending on the path and severity of the storm.

He said: “The UK’s weather will come under the influence of ex-hurricane Helene although there are other systems in the Atlantic which may modify this particular one.

“There is a warning out from Monday night with Helene expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain mainly across western Britain through Tuesday morning.

“We expect to see winds of 80mph in the worst affected regions, however across eastern Britain it may just be blustery and otherwise warm with some fine weather.

“At the moment we are on a yellow warning but we will continue to monitor the situation and things may change due to the uncertainty of how this will pan out.”

Helene began off Cape Verde but has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it makes its way east.

The storm could bring gale force winds, sending debris flying, disrupting travel and cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses.

The Met Office said: "Storm Helene is expected to push north-east towards the UK late Monday, before clearing quickly to the north of Scotland through Tuesday morning.

"There remains large uncertainty in Helene’s exact track, however a spell of very strong winds is expected, initially for parts of south-west England and west Wales, then later south-west Scotland and the south-east of Northern Ireland."

It said the dangers are:

  • Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible.
  • Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible.
  • Some roads and bridges may close. Fallen trees may be an additional hazard.
  • There is a small chance that injuries could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts.
  • There is a chance that power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage.

On Friday morning, Tropical Storm Helene was bearing down on the Azores Islands in the Atlantic.

The government of Portugal had issued a tropical storm warning for the archipelago.

The US National Hurricane Center said: "A turn toward the northeast is expected over the weekend. On the forecast track, Helene will pass near or over the Azores late Saturday or Sunday.

"Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

"Gradual weakening is expected after Helene becomes a post-tropical cyclone over the weekend.

"Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km) from the centre."

The warnings were issued as Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the US East Coast, flooding homes with a 10ft storm surge.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “Environment Agency staff will monitor the situation, working closely with the Met Office.

“We encourage the public to take care by the coast when there are storms and high winds forecast.”

AccuWeather meteorologist Renee Duff warned Helene could be the first in a barrage of storms to hit the UK through the second half of the month.

She said: “By the time Helen reaches the United Kingdom, it will likely lose most of its tropical characteristics, but it could still pack a punch.

“Currently, the areas highest at risk for heavy rainfall would be Northern Ireland and Scotland. Residents in these areas should be on alert for localised flash flooding.

“These conditions could cause travel disruptions throughout the British Isles, flight delays could cascade and effect other places across Europe as well.

“Several other storm systems are expected to follow in Helene’s wake through week’s end.

“Any saturation or weakening of structures and trees caused by Helene could compound with these subsequent lows.”

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Hurricane rips through US towns with eight months’ worth of rain and 90mph winds

A man prepares to get in a makeshift boat constructed from a metal container and fishing floats as he and thousands more try to flee Hurricane Florence.

Michael Nelson floated off in the bizarre vessel after a river burst its banks and flooded his street in New Bern in the battered US state of North Carolina.

Evacuation warnings were in place for over a million people as the brutal storm landed, with winds of 90mph.

Tens of thousands of homes were without power as sea water washed through towns and left people stranded.



Frightened residents and pets were saved by rescuers. Soldiers have been drafted in.

The governor of the east coast state, Roy Cooper, said surviving the storm would be a test of “endurance, teamwork, common sense, and patience”.

Officials warned it could still kill “a lot of people” and cause “catastrophic” flooding.

The hurricane is expected to last for several days.

North Carolina is likely to see eight months’ worth of rain in two to three days.

An alarming interactive weather forecast did little to ease nerves.

The Weather Channel forecast left some viewers shocked as its presenter stood in the middle of computerised rising flood water, which had a car floating on its surface.

She said: “When the storm surge reaches – this could be about to knock you off my feet and could be enough to float a parked car. This is extremely dangerous.




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“Once we get up to that six foot this water’s over my head, I wouldn’t be able to withstand the force of the water coming in.

“But once we get to the nine foot range that’s when we get into a life-threatening scenario. Extremely dangerous and life-threatening.”

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Hurricane Helene could hit UK in days unleashing strong winds and heavy rain

Weather forecasters will have a close eye on the skies in the coming days as Hurricane Helene creeps closer to the UK and Ireland.

She is currently one of a glut of tropical storms in the Atlantic, with Florence sparking mass evacuations as she heads towards landfall in the US states of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

But the Met Office says Helene could be heading east towards the south-western corners of the UK, with the tip of Ireland among the worst affected.

A similar section of Wales and the Cornish peninsular are also expected to bear the brunt of any storm-like weather, although much of the rest of England could be noticeably windier by the time Helene hits land on Tuesday morning.


Emma Smith, meteorologist with the Exeter-based Met Office, said more details would emerge within the next day over what impact the storm might have.

She said: "Helene is moving up from the Atlantic towards us.

"Hurricane Joyce is also in the Atlantic so we need to see how those two systems are going to move around each other because that could have an impact.

"It looks like Helene will move towards Ireland on Tuesday morning. It’s possible that the west coast of Wales and Cornwall could get some winds as well, but we will get a clearer picture of what to expect very soon."



The storm would be expected to die out by Wednesday, Ms Smith said.

Three-day UK weather forecast

Today (Friday) : It will be a rather unsettled day across many northern and western areas with showers or longer outbreaks of rain, some of which will be heavy at times. In contrast it will be mainly fine and dry in southern areas with some bright or sunny spells. There will be generally moderate westerly winds.

Tonight (Friday night) : Scattered light showers will continue to affect Northern Ireland and western parts of the British Isles through the night. Drier elsewhere with substantial clear spells and patchy cloud. It will be a chilly night for some, especially in the north-east. There will be gentle south-westerly winds.

UK Outlook (Saturday and Sunday) : Wet and windy weather will spread into Northern Ireland and Scotland on Saturday. Drier elsewhere with sunshine expected to develop for southern regions from the afternoon. Rain will then spread south and east on Sunday, though turning light and patchy as it does so. Showers in the north-west.

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