Monday, 19 November, 2018

Slow-Moving Florence Causing Major Flooding As It Swirls Over Carolinas

Credit PA Credit PA
Charles Bowen | 15 September, 2018, 20:02

Five people have died due to the ex-hurricane, which was downgraded to a tropical storm, including a mother and her baby killed when their house was hit by a tree.

Though it was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at landfall Friday, Florence remains a massive storm that will dump trillions of gallons of rain on eastern North Carolina before sweeping across SC.

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras. The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach. This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

Satellites also continue to monitor Hurricane Florence as it passes over North Carolina to help meteorologists make more accurate predictions of how the storm will impact people living in the region. For those wishing to track Florence's devastation from miles away, PBS NewsHour has compiled this guide of sources that we will be closely monitoring as the storm progresses.

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

"More people die from storm surge than any proponent of hurricanes", Kottlowsk tells TIME.

USA media later said a second man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs. Electricity remained out for much of the city, with power lines lying across many roads like wet strands of spaghetti. About 400 people have been rescued. But the water kept rising. In South Carolina there were 7,000 people staying in shelters.

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After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 225 km/h earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few kilometres east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. As the storm moves into hilly terrain, it's also expected to unleash catastrophic and potentially deadly flash flooding and possibly mud slides, the hurricane center warned.

In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in. Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.

City officials sent out an dramatic tweet about 2am Friday as rivers swelled, tides crested and the rain wouldn't stop, and people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), but a gust of 112 miles per hour (180 kph) was reported just offshore. More are expected, as the storm could bring winds up to 45 miles per hour around the area, according to Durham County emergency management officials. Trump, who spoke with state and local officials on Friday, plans a visit to the region next week.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles. And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth. "We have two boats and all our worldly possessions", said Susan Patchkofsky, who refused her family's pleas to evacuate and stayed at Emerald Isle with her husband.

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