Flooding threatens the Carolinas as Florence is downgraded to a tropical depression

18 September, 2018, 03:43 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • 150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper calls Florence the "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities.

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches (58 centimetres) of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches (38 centimetres) more.

As rivers swelled toward record levels, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from big hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

If the storm tracks further to the west and up into the Ohio River Valley, the worst of the heavy rain and associated impacts of the storm would be centered to the west of the Washington area and more focused toward western Pennsylvania and eventually interior New England.

An 81-year-old man died in Wayne County when he fell and struck his head while packing to evacuate, officials said.

"Rivers are rising to risky levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday. Forecasters predicted severe flooding for parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC starting Sunday.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding. The river runs through Fayetteville - home to the Army's Ft.

As we get closer toward the middle of next week, Florence's remnants should be near or spreading across our area.

"We've been going so hard and fast we don't have a number yet", he said. "We just know we're getting out of here". Bennie Todd shows how high the Lumber River rose during Hurricane Matthew two years in his backyard in Lumberton, N.C., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

"Right now we've rescued over 400 people".

Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could also be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland.

Wilmington was battered by high winds and rising flood water as a pier was smashed by a huge wave.

At least five people, including a mother and her child, have been killed as Florence brings unending rain and storm surges to the region. The father was transported to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for injuries he sustained. In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

A 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said.

The storm surge, water pushed by a storm over land that would normally be dry, "overwhelmed" the town of New Bern at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, Cooper said. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence.

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

Officials in North Myrtle Beach, where some flooding was occurring, did report some delays in their 911 emergency system, according to a news release, but their public safety personnel are still out in the community.

"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said.

As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors screaming for help. Wilmington International Airport and Fort Macon suffered gusts of 105 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said. Many of them are boat owners, who help rescue stricken flood victims.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

The monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to one meter.


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