Florence 'unloading epic amounts of rainfall' in North Carolina

16 September, 2018, 12:39 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Wilmington NC tree

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of up to 3 feet as the 90 miles per hour storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

As it made landfall on the USA southeast coast on Friday, Florence buckled buildings, flooded entire communities and left more than 900,000 homes and businesses without power.

In a subsequent settlement with federal regulators, Duke agreed to plead guilty to nine Clean Water Act violations and pay $102 million in fines and restitution for illegally discharging pollution from coal-ash dumps at five North Carolina power plants.

"It's hard to believe it's going to get that high", says Elizabeth Machado, who came to the bridge to check on the river.

With a plodding pace belying still-unspent fury, Tropical Storm Florence pushed deeper into the Carolinas on Saturday, inundating homes, toppling trees and pushing rivers far beyond their banks as rescuers rushed to keep pace.

A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home.

Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

Winds have dropped to about 40 miles per hour (65 kph) since it roared ashore along the US mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane and it is crawling west over two states at 6 mph (9 kph), the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Sunday.


According to a Brookings Institution article written in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which walloped southeast Texas in 2017, poor, minority families are more likely to live in low-lying neighborhoods like Hamlet that are already host to industrial facilities or environmental hazards - the same low-income neighborhoods that are far less likely to be inoculated from severe weather events.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour as of 5 a.m., the briefing said. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel was seemingly battling to stay upright as he filmed a piece in North Carolina - only for two pedestrians to calmly stroll past in the background. Other communities got well over a foot (30 centimetres).

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

By Saturday, Florence's death toll had already risen to seven. - A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation. That's enough water to fill the Chesapeake Bay or to cover the state of Texas in 4 inches.

About 760,200 of those customers are North Carolina; 36,200 are in SC. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

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