Florence's floods obscure damage inflicted on Carolinas

Terry Joseph
September 18, 2018

"It's fun to get out and everybody's getting stir insane being stuck in the house, but that's a lot of water that has to go somewhere", he said. Six people died in SC, including four in vehicle accidents and two from carbon monoxide from a portable generator.

Tropical Depression Florence, once a major hurricane, made landfall in North Carolina on Friday and drenched the state with more downpours on Sunday.

"This storm is still deadly and unsafe and it's expected to turn northward later today into Virginia and the mid-Atlantic", he said.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life", Governor Roy Cooper said. Dozens more were rescued from a collapsed motel.

Florence is expected to unload a total of 10 trillion gallons of rain on North Carolina, weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue said.

Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads. As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

A woman and her baby were among the storm's first casualties when a tree fell on their house.

Dan Hust, Sullivan County's director of communications, said the expected precipitation could lead to minor flooding, but he doesn't expect significant issues.

One of the hardest hit cities in North Carolina was New Bern, a riverfront city not far from the coast.

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"I have everything I need for my whole family", Merlos said.

The people who were hit by the fury of Florence are nowhere near out danger.

Meanwhile, the city of Wilmington had been largely cut off from the rest of North Carolina by rising floodwaters from Florence.

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Florence set a record in the state for rain from a hurricane, dumping 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

"It has already dumped 50 to 76 cm of rain on parts of the Carolinas with more to come", he said.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain. A curfew is in place, with residents instructed to stay off the streets between 8PM and 6AM to mitigate looting. River forecasts showed the scene could be repeated in towns as far as 250 miles inland amid rising waters in the coming days.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" - civilians equipped with light boats, canoes and air mattresses - who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

The death toll from Hurricane Florence rose to eight on Saturday, local media said.

In Swansboro, North Carolina, almost 34 inches of rain had fallen by Sunday afternoon and 20 other places in North Carolina had at least 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The mother had driven around barricades on a closed stretch of road, the post said. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water.

Wilmington, North Carolina, a city with a population of 110,000 people and an worldwide airport, has been cut off from the rest of the world by flood waters.

New Bern sits along the Neuse River, which combined with heavy rain to create flooding.

Mayor Bill Saffo said he was working with the governor's office to get more fuel into Wilmington.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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