Tropical storm Florence dumps metres of rain on Carolinas

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 16, 2018

As Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical storm, continued to chart a path of destruction across North and SC on Saturday, school gymnasiums morphed into makeshift shelters for thousands of people displaced from their homes in nearby flood-prone areas.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometres) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion litres) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

Heavy rains and storm surge created destructive flooding of several feet throughout the Carolina coast.

"The cost to SC, if that happens, if the storm continues the way it is going, could be in the billions", Dahler said.

Some parts of Burgaw commonly flood during heavy rains, and officials went to those parts before Florence's arrival to tell residents there to evacuate.

Scores of residents had to be rescued from flooding by emergency responders and volunteers in New Bern, North Carolina, on Saturday.

More than 2 feet of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 1½ feet before Sunday is out.

"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.

As of 11 p.m., Florence was centered about 40 miles east-southeast of Columbia, South Carolina, amd crawling west at 3 mph - not even as fast as a person walking.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area. The flash flooding could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

The Cape Fear River has overrun its banks, allowing water to pour into the downtown area of Wilmington. Over the course of two hours on Saturday morning, the water had risen 4 inches, he said.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 796,000 customers in that state and SC, reports CNN.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said. Sutton was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills.

Officials had warned before the storm that the rains could risk tainting waterways with murky coal ash and toxic hog waste.

One potential road out was blocked as flooding forced the shutdown of a 16-mile (26-kilometer) stretch of Interstate 95, the main highway along the Eastern Seaboard.

Helicopter crews have carried out dozens of missions in coastal North Carolina and helped in the rescue of 50 people and eight pets, said Petty Officer Michael Himes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rescued families were delivered to shelters, where approximately 20,000 people across the state were housed on Saturday.

Mackie rode in a boat through a flooded neighborhood, navigating through trees and past a fence post to get to the Knox house.

Roger Cozine, 62, who lives in Jacksonville, tried to stay in his home as long as possible, but said rising floodwaters forced him to flee to a relatives house. New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people had been rescued in the town of 30,000 residents without any serious injuries or deaths.

The doors of many homes suffered so much wind damage they appeared to have been kicked in, while the city's beloved fibre-glass bear statues, which are sponsored by local businesses, were floating down streets.

People around the Carolinas are being told that say they can buy flood insurance policy right now that will cover damage done by Florence, according to FEMA. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

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