Flood waters rise, eight killed as Florence dumps 'epic' rain on Carolinas

Cesar Mills
September 16, 2018

Winds have dropped to about 40 miles per hour (65 kph) since it roared ashore along the US mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane and it is crawling west over two states at 6 mph (9 kph), the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Sunday.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland yesterday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges of up to 10 feet (three meters), residents took stock of the damage after flood waters began receding and authorities rescued hundreds of people who had been stranded.

Flood waters from the Trent River inundate a park in Pollocksville, North Carolina on September 14, 2018 during Hurricane Florence.

"The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hours ago", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

The effects of Florence won't be fading anytime soon, either, as current forecasts have upwards of 15-to-20 additional inches of rain possible for areas of North and SC will Florence's remnants will linger for the next 48 to 72 hours.

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane.

Officials had warned before the storm that the rains could risk tainting waterways with murky coal ash and toxic hog waste. It was downgraded Friday afternoon to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph (110 kph) before its core slogged into coastal SC hours later.

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Power outages affecting more than 900,000 in Carolinas. Gusts reached over 100 miles per hour - the highest recorded in North Carolina since 1958.

Saffo said it could be longer than two weeks before power is fully restored. "So we know it's time to go".

"Were expecting additional rainfall across southeastern central into southern North Carolina and across Northern parts of SC where additional rainfall amounts that could exceed 10 inches".

"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

Though weakened, Florence remains a very large, slow and unsafe storm as it swirls over the Carolinas.

Florence has caused catastrophic flooding since arriving as a category one hurricane on Friday.

The hurricane center said the storm 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.

Munich Re's Rauch said about 30 to 50 percent of storm damage is usually insured in the United States but often less than 10 percent in developing countries, meaning nine-tenths of the people hit will end up shouldering a bigger economic burden.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2am.

Other reports by GizPress

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