Friday, 16 November, 2018

Flood waters rise, 8 killed as Florence dumps ‘epic’ rain on Carolinas

As Hurricane Florence passes through Hampton Roads many are wondering what to do with the extra perishable supplies they accumulated in preparation for the storm Spotlight: Five killed in US East Coast as Hurricane Florence weakening to tropical storm - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Frank Williams | 16 September, 2018, 06:29

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (three meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane. Over a million residents in North Carolina are now without power and authorities have confirmed at least five deaths.

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning.

Florence flattened trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said.

"Remember most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars".

North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper said: "Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood".

"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".

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more.

The triple punch of falling rain, rising rivers and coastal storm surges was already triggering catastrophic floods.

"We just don't want people to think this is over because it's not".

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including more than 8,000 from Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

Threatening Hurricane Florence makes landfall in N. Carolina
The video below, taken in Wilmington , North Carolina, shows a large tree being split in half in Florence's winds. The homes of about 10 million were under watches or warnings for the hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

"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.

"Some of our beloved bears have wandered away", city officials tweeted next to a picture of the statue.

More than 300 volunteers from nine USA states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News.

A mother and infant were killed by a fallen tree on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to local police. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

The White House yesterday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.

At 8 pm EDT (0000 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said Florence had maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour, and was slowly drifting westward over SC. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

Among those volunteers was the Cajun Navy, a volunteer rescue organization formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

If Florence doesn't wipe out oceanfront homes on stilts along the Carolinas coast, rising sea levels will. Florence lashed low-lying barrier islands that experience some of the fastest rates of sea level rise observed anywhere in the world, almost an inch (2.5 centimeters) a year.

The small town of Hamlet in Richmond County, North Carolina, for example, is full of toxic emitters: within its borders are a chicken processing plant, an energy company and a wood pellet manufacturer that broke ground within the past few years.

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