Dorian grazes Carolina coast, aims for Outer Banks | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

Dorian grazes Carolina coast, aims for Outer Banks

Associated Press
1636971_web1_1636971-3199a43d6ca64c3f8a4e686009687aa1
AP
Power company lineman work to restore power after a tornado hit Emerald Isle, N.C. as Hurricane Dorian moved up the East coast on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
1636971_web1_1636971-144bd0e01b9b4d25ac7e8d91032c5848
The News & Observer
Residents of the Boardwalk RV Park discuss the path of a possible waterspout or tornado, generated by Hurricane Dorian, struck the area, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Emerald Isle, N.C.
1636971_web1_1636971-2b4967013a184b48a5396a0b4cb701a2
The Sun News
A tornado touched down in the The Farm at Brunswick County in Carolina Shores, N.C. on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, damaging homes ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.
1636971_web1_1636971-18d1c2d70dc54a1c80c9a10215df09f2
The Sun News
A tornado touched down in the The Farm at Brunswick County in Carolina Shores, N.C. on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, damaging homes ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.
1636971_web1_1636971-6d6d45df01c84914aa64e1cccc3ef7d7
The Independent-Mail
William Ellinge, of Murrells Inlet, S.C., takes photos of waves crashing on the shore in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, as Hurricane Dorian moves north off the coast.
1636971_web1_1636971-77540ea2aa374625a4407ae8712cde57
AP
Emerald Isle town employees work to clear the road after a tornado hit Emerald Isle N.C. as Hurricane Dorian moved up the East coast on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.
1636971_web1_AP19248552550369
Mobile homes are upended and debris is strewn about at the Holiday Trav-l Park, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Emerald Isle, N.C, after a possible tornado generated by Hurricane Dorian struck the area.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hurricane Dorian sideswiped the Carolinas with shrieking winds, tornadoes and sideways rain Thursday as it closed in for a possible direct hit on the dangerously exposed Outer Banks. At least four deaths in the Southeast were blamed on the storm.

Twisters spun off by Dorian peeled away roofs and flipped trailers, and more than 250,000 homes and businesses were left without power as the hurricane pushed north along the coastline, its winds weakening after sunset to 100 mph. Trees and power lines littered flooded streets in Charleston’s historic downtown. Gusts had topped 80 mph in some areas.

North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a thin line of islands that stick out from the U.S. coast like a boxer’s chin, braced for a hit late Thursday or early Friday. To the north, Virginia was also in harm’s way, and a round of evacuations was ordered there.

The damage from the same storm that mauled the Bahamas was mercifully light in many parts of South Carolina and Georgia as well, and by midafternoon many of the 1.5 million people who had been told to evacuate in three states were allowed to return.

But overnight winds will cause trees and branches to fall on power lines, and debris could block repair crews from accessing damaged lines, said Mike Burnette senior vice president of Electric Cooperatives, a North Carolina utility provider. Customers should prepare for prolonged power outages, he said.

“We have a long night ahead of us. Everyone needs to stay in a safe place and off the roads until the storm passes,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

About 150 evacuees were camped out at Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina, speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said.

After leaving at least 30 people dead when it slammed the Bahamas with 185 mph wind, Dorian swept past Florida at a relatively safe distance, grazed Georgia, and then hugged the South Carolina-North Carolina coastline.

“I think we’re in for a great big mess,” said 61-year-old Leslie Lanier, who decided to stay behind and boarded up her home and bookstore on Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks, making sure to move the volumes 5 to 6 feet off the ground.

The National Hurricane Center forecast as much as 15 inches of rain for the coastal Carolinas, with flash-flooding likely .

In Charleston, a historic port city of handsome antebellum homes on a peninsula that is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms, Dorian toppled some 150 trees, swamped roads and brought down power lines, officials said, but the flooding and wind weren’t nearly as bad as feared.

Walking along Charleston’s stone battery, college student Zachary Johnson sounded almost disappointed that Dorian hadn’t done more.

“I mean, it’d be terrible if it did, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know — I’m just waiting for something crazy to happen, I guess,” said Johnson, 24.

Dorian apparently spawned at least one tornado in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., damaging several homes, and another twister touched down in the beach town of Emerald Isle, N.C., mangling and overturning several trailer homes in a jumble of sheet metal. No immediate injuries were reported.

In coastal Wilmington, N.C., just above the South Carolina line, heavy rain fell horizontally, trees bent in the wind and traffic lights swayed as the hurricane drew near.

The four deaths attributed to the storm took place in Florida and North Carolina. All of them involved men who died in falls or by electrocution while trimming trees, putting up storm shutters or otherwise getting ready for the hurricane.

At 8 p.m. EDT, Dorian was centered about 30 miles south of Cape Fear, N.C., near the state’s border with South Carolina. The Category 2 storm had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was moving northeast at 10 mph.

As it closed in on the Eastern Seaboard, Navy ships were ordered to ride out the storm at sea, and military aircraft were moved inland. More than 700 airline flights scheduled for Thursday and Friday were canceled. And hundreds of shelter animals were airlifted from coastal South Carolina to Delaware.

Tybee Island, Ga., population 3,000, came through the storm without flooding. “If the worst that comes out of this is people blame others for calling evacuations, then that’s wonderful,” Mayor Jason Buelterman said.

By midday Thursday, coastal residents in Georgia and some South Carolina counties were allowed to go home.

Still, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster warned of new dangers ahead.

“Don’t be surprised if there was water in your home. You might have animals, snakes. You don’t know what might be in there, so be very careful as you return,” he said.

Categories: News | Top Stories | World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.