'You better pray:' More flooding in Carolinas a week after Florence

Cesar Mills
September 22, 2018

About 55,000 homes and businesses remain without power after Florence, almost all in North Carolina, and down from a high of more than 900,000 in three states. Roads to Wilmington, which has been cut off sporadically by Florence, are opening and closing as flood water rushes to the coast.

"Major flooding is underway on several North and SC rivers, including the Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, Lumber, Waccamaw, PeeDee and Little PeeDee", the USGS warned in a news release earlier this week.

The South Carolina governor estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion.

A closeup of floodwaters aftermath of Hurricane Florence is seen in this satellite image over the area surrounding Wallace, North Carolina, U.S., September 20, 2018. "As defenders of the state's rivers, lakes and streams, we're committed to documenting conditions and alerting the public to threats to public health and environmental quality stemming from Hurricane Florence". McMaster asked Congressional leaders to hurry federal aid. "I would say by Thursday we will have a good count".

Lying on Atlantic Ocean between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, the county of about 60,000 people is one of several areas across the Carolinas waiting anxiously for rivers to crest, a week after Florence dumped some three feet of rain in the region. An 81-year-old man who was found dead inside a vehicle in Dillon County after it was swept away by water, was among the victims in SC, the department tweeted on Thursday. It is feared that the death toll could rise because flooded rivers, swollen by huge rainfalls, are expected to remain unsafe over the next few days in the Carolinas in the US. The utility said it did not think any coal ash was at risk.

The latest victims in SC were identified as Wendy Wenton, 45, and Nicolette Green, 43, by the Marion County Coroner, US media report.

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Officials said 33 animals also were rescued. Flooding has also impacted areas such as Fayetteville and Kinston, where the Neuse River was still rising.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state is still tallying its storm damage, but says it will be in the billions.

More than 1,000 roads were closed across the state Tuesday, officials said, and about 343,000 people are still without power.

Thirty-one deaths have been attributed to the storm in North Carolina, eight in SC and one in Virginia. Some of them have been washed out entirely.

"Although the winds are gone and the rain is not falling, the water is still there and the worst is still to come", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

Brandon Echavarrieta struggled to stay composed as he described life post-Florence: no power for days, rotted meat in the freezer, no water or food and just one bath in a week.

Other reports by GizPress

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