Florence rains wash away New Bern’s beloved statues

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 16, 2018

"If you live in a floodplain and planned on staying, you might need to reevaluate", said Joel Cline, a North Carolina native and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center.

By Saturday, Florence's death toll had already risen to seven.

"Rivers are rising to unsafe levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday.

Other areas throughout the region reported flooded and impassable roads, downed trees and power lines and power outages of more than 125,000 customers.

As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions. Seventy people had to be pulled from a collapsing hotel at the height of the storm, and many more who defied evacuation orders were hoping to be rescued.

One of the towns worst affected is New Bern, which sits between the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina.

As of Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center announced that Florence is now a tropical storm with maximum wind speeds of 45 miles per hour and said heavy rains and catastrophic flooding will continue across portions of North and SC.

The Cape Fear River has overrun its banks, allowing water to pour into the downtown area of Wilmington.

Multiple deaths have been linked to Hurricane Florence, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The dead included a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In the dark: About 900,000 outages as of Saturday morning, mostly in North Carolina.

"That's why I got this thing, to use in times like this", he said.

The National Hurricane Centre said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. Although the storm is passing north of Myrtle Beach, the concern now is that river water from North Carolina will flow into the area and combine with all the water that is already there.

FEMA teams were employing boats in the rescues and were determining which cases were the most severe.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..."

Zaytoun said he didn't leave his home because he knew he wouldn't have been able to get back to it once the flooding began. Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds of people trapped by the rising waters.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs, and were left shaken.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said.

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