Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, September 16, 1999 Published at 19:38 GMT 20:38 UK

World: Americas

Floyd slackens on its way north

A man avoids a collapsed garage in Myrtle Beach, SC

Hurricane Floyd - which prompted the biggest-ever evacuation in the United States as it blasted in from the Bahamas - lost strength as it finally reached the US East Coast on Thursday.

More than 2.5 million people were evacuated from their homes from Florida to North Carolina as Floyd approached.

But by the time it reached Cape Fear, North Carolina, early on Thursday, Floyd had weakened - although it still brought winds of up to 175 km/h (110mph) and heavy rains.

The BBC's Sue Llewellyn: "The biggest problem is flooding"
By 11 am EDT (1500 GMT), the storm had moved north to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and was moving north-northeast at about 40 kph (24 mph).

Overland, Floyd has slowed further and top wind speeds are now around 130 km/h (80 mph).

It has now been downgraded to a very strong category two storm, denoting storms which cause damage to roofs, windows and doors, felling trees and damaging mobile homes.

[ image: A dog in Wilmington was taking no chances with the weather]
A dog in Wilmington was taking no chances with the weather
When it hit the Bahamas last Wednesday, Floyd was classed a category four hurricane, and was close to being in the strongest category five.

Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey are the states likely to be affected next, with New York's Long Island expecting Floyd early on Friday.

Torrential rain

Before making landfall, Floyd had driven frightened residents from the coast and spread torrential rains and howling winds over a huge swathe of the eastern United States.

Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, traffic jams stretched for miles, shelters and hotels filled, and emergency officials from Florida to Massachusetts were on alert.

No casualties were reported in Wilmington, North Carolina as Floyd came ashore.

But two people are reported to have been killed in incidents related to the storm.

[ image: A car negotiates a fallen tree in Myrtle Beach]
A car negotiates a fallen tree in Myrtle Beach
More than 300mm (12 inches) of rain fell in Wilmington overnight and, despite finer weather on Thursday, police advised residents not to return to the town for at least 24 hours.

South Carolina and Virginia also saw heavy rain overnight.

Federal emergency teams - including medical personnel and search dogs - have been deployed the length of the threatened coastline.

"We have pre-positioned rescue teams in strategic areas," said Barbara Yagerman, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Click here to see a map of Hurricane Floyd's progress

The BBC's Rob Watson reports from Wilmington, North Carolina
More than 6,300 National Guard troopers have been mobilised in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

One death has been attributed to the storm in North Carolina when a car skidded on wet roads and crashed on Wednesday afternoon.

Another person was reported missing presumed dead after being swept away by floodwaters.

Have you been affected by Hurricane Floyd ? We want to hear about your experiences.

Click here to send us your accounts.

President Bill Clinton - who cut short a trip to New Zealand - has declared a federal state of emergency in the Carolinas, as well as Florida and Georgia.

"I hope that every citizen will heed the warnings of the officials and stay out of harm's way," Mr Clinton said, adding that the response to the crisis had proved that "the American spirit is stronger than the force of any storm".

[ image:  ]

Click here to return

Send us your hurricane experiences:

Your E-mail Address:



Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

16 Sep 99 | Americas
Picking up after Floyd

16 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Typhoon causes Hong Kong chaos

16 Sep 99 | Americas
Eyewitness: Floyd fury arrives

15 Sep 99 | Americas
Picture gallery: Fleeing Floyd

14 Sep 99 | Americas
US giants bow before Floyd

14 Sep 99 | UK
Tourists flee hurricane's path

14 Sep 99 | Americas
Media in awe of Floyd's power

14 Sep 99 | UK
Britons in eye of the storm

10 Nov 98 | World
Nature's lethal weapons

02 Sep 98 | Sci/Tech
Vicious circles

Internet Links

National Hurricane Centre

National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

Federal Emergency Management Agency

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Violence greets Clinton visit

Bush outlines foreign policy

Boy held after US school shooting

Memorial for bonfire dead

Senate passes US budget

New constitution for Venezuela

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Hurricane Lenny abates

UN welcomes US paying dues

Chavez praises 'advanced' constitution

In pictures: Castro strikes out Chavez

WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute

Colombian army chief says rebels defeated

Colombian president lambasts rebels