Sep 14, 2018

Axios PM

Good Friday afternoon, and happy weekend. Two newsletters on hot topics are joining the Axios family:

  • Axios Edge, Felix Salmon's new weekly lookahead to business and markets, debuts this Sunday afternoon. Sign up here
  • Axios Autonomous Vehicles, a weekly look at self-driving cars' impact on cities, policy and the economy, launches a week from today. Sign up here
1 big thing: Florence is here

High winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C. Photo:Tom Copeland/AP

Hurricane Florence has claimed her first victims, a mother and her child who were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, N.C.

The big picture: Florence's potential rainfall would be enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, the AP reports.

  • The storm is dumping an astonishing 3 to 7 inches per hour in some parts of North Carolina, where The National Weather Service issued a discussion warning of "catastrophic" flash flooding, Axios' Andrew Freedman emails.
  • There will likely be a new state rainfall record by tomorrow for any tropical storm or hurricane in North Carolina.
  • Some high-resolution computer models are projecting 40+ inches, closer to 50 inches in some spots.
  • This is similar to Hurricane Harvey's rainfall totals in Texas last year.

The latest:

  • More than 600,000 people are currently without power in the state.
  • Florence brought Wilmington its highest winds since 1958, with a gust of 105 mph recorded.
  • The eye of the storm is just over the coast, but a large portion of the hurricane remains over the open water, spraying spiral bands of extremely heavy rainfall at the coast.
  • Storm surge flooding will continue on Friday and Saturday in the Carolinas.

What's next: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which is the opposite of how such storms normally move in this region.

The bottom line: The winds may have eased, but the water has just begun.

Go deeper:

Bonus: Photo du jour
Paul Manafort's mugshot, released in July by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office (via Getty Images)

Paul Manafort pleaded guilty today to new charges by Robert Mueller, and entered into a "cooperation agreement" with the Justice Department. Read the charges.

2. What you missed
  1. Kleiner Perkins is splitting up: It's one of the oldest and most successful Silicon Valley venture capital firms, but most of its recent success has been tied to its later-stage deals. Go deeper.
  2. Jemele Hill is leaving ESPN: She previously referred to President Trump as a "white supremacist."
  3. Deep dive on Hurricane Maria: A consortium of media outlets (AP, Quartz and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism) have released their findings from interviewing 204 families of victims of Hurricane Maria. Go deeper.
  4. Trump's "reversal-by-tweet" methodology has shredded any remaining credibility Steve Mnuchin had in Beijing, Axios' Bill Bishop writes. Go deeper.
3. 1 📺 thing

Your cord-cutting's budgetary benefit is shrinking, the WSJ's Drew Fitzgerald reports.

  • "AT&T Inc.’s DirecTV Now streaming service recently raised its basic channel plan by $5 over the summer, bringing its starting monthly cost to $40... [t]he company is considering additional price increases for the service."
  • "Market leader SlingTV this summer raised the price of its basic package by $5 to $25 a month, with its owner Dish Network Inc. blaming higher channel programming fees."
  • "Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube TV service... raised its monthly price to $40 earlier this year after it tacked on additional channels like TNT and TBS."