7 killed as hurricane Florence pummels Carolinas

17 September, 2018, 17:51 | Author: Myra Gill
  • 150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC

The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

Florence will weaken to a tropical depression later today based on the trend of lowering wind speeds, but the already-dangerous flooding in North Carolina will get even worse because the storm is only moving inland at 2 miles per hour.

In Fayetteville, a North Carolina city of about 210,000 people about 90 miles inland, authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear River and Little River to get out of their homes because of the flood risk. More than a dozen sites in the Houston metro area were flooded previous year during Hurricane Harvey, with breaches of potentially harmful materials reported at two.

A family rescued from their New Jersey home by boat during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 is waiting to find out whether Florence took their new one in North Carolina. In Kinston, a 78-year-old man was electrocuted while trying to plug in a generator, and a 77-year-old man was found dead, apparently as a result of being knocked down by strong winds after venturing outside to check on his dogs.

Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet (3 meters).

Florence's flooding claims a couple of cars and the first story of a house in New Bern, NC. "Florence's 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay", its article says.

Florence is now a tropical storm, having been downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane since making landfall Friday on the North Carolina coast. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service say that as of noon on Saturday, over 30 inches of rain has fallen in Swansboro, N.C. Florence's 30 inches of rainfall has broken the statewide rainfall record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of 24.06 inches.


One potential road out was blocked as flooding forced the shutdown of a 16-mile (26-kilometre) stretch of Interstate 95, the main highway along the Eastern Seaboard. "Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern to central Appalachians from western North Carolina into southwest Virginia through early next week".

NOAA NOAA / Reuters Hurricane Florence is shown from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) #GOESEast satellite shortly after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, US, 14 September.

Forecasters fear the worst is yet to come as officials have confirmed five people have died, including a mother and child who were killed after a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday night.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is awesome and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood.

"It's like being stalked by a turtle", FEMA associate director Jeffrey Byard said about the slow-moving storm, as Fox News reported.

"And from that point, we started hearing where people were saying on phone calls, 'I love you, ' to their family members because they were not sure they were going to get out of it alive", she said Friday. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated.

Tornadoes are also a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".

DEMA will also be sending down a three person team to assess damage Monday morning to help the North Carolina Office of Emergency Management begin recovery efforts.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. "We just know we're getting out of here".

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