Florence brings heavy rains, unsafe flooding even as it weakens

Cesar Mills
September 18, 2018

A 61-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man died in Horry County, SC, after using a generator inside their home, according to WMBF. An investigation is underway, but officials said it appears there's no reason for others at the shelter to worry.

As of 8:00 p.m., Florence was centered about 65 miles east-southeast of Columbia, SC and its winds were down to 45 mph, but with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

The storm is still leaving a path of destruction across the two states, despite its top sustained wind speeds weakening to 45mph.

The storm is moving at just 3 miles per hour (5 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center.

The eye of Florence directly struck Wrightsville Beach, NC, early Friday.

Although several communities along the coast had mandatory evacuation orders, many people still chose to stay behind, putting them in a prime position to shoot and post videos of the terrifying onslaught.

"There is a lot of rain to come", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

NCDOT also said drivers who would otherwise travel through the state are being detoured entirely around the state, and identifying detours around Interstates 95, 40, 85, 77 and 26 is becoming increasingly hard as the storm continues moving westward.

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"I still have power and it has been raining on and off with wind around 20 miles per hour", said Mr. O'Brien, a Bronx native who's lived in North Carolina for five years. As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 people remained without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

—Three people died in Duplin County, North Carolina because of "flash flooding and swift water on roadways", the Duplin County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page. A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, NC, shut down operations Friday. Authorities reported two more deaths on Monday, both in North Carolina. As the storm "begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear".

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Hurricane Florence Loses Steam, but Shifting Forecast Predicts Huge Rainfall
Cooper said 108 shelters are open across the state, with more than 7,000 people already staying at them, as of Thursday afternoon. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina , and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, N.C. SC recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her auto hit a tree that fell across a highway.

In South Carolina's Myrtle Beach, Victor Shamah, the owner of The Bowery bar, chose to open because people 'wanted to eat, they didn't have any place to eat.

Most of the fatalities occurred in North Carolina, where officials confirmed eight victims.

By storm's end, up to 40 inches of rain will have fallen in parts of North Carolina and far northeastern SC, the National Hurricane Center said.

Roads were closed and authorities warned of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled.

"We have 4,200 damaged homes", he said, urging residents to not wade out into the streets because of the dangers posed by downed power lines.

Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses.

Also in Avon, photographer Jason Cole captured video of a powerful storm surge overtaking sand dunes.

Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.

Some who had evacuated returned home Saturday evening to survey the damage.

Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday.

Other reports by GizPress

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