Hurricane devastated North Carolina now threatened by heavy rains
17 September, 2018, 23:18 | Author: Kelly Sanders
Florence could become a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.
Deeper flooding loomed in the hours and days ahead from rivers in the Carolinas swollen by Tropical Depression Florence, which has killed 23 people, even if rain-weary residents got a brief glimpse of sunshine on Monday.
It has dumped up to 40 inches (100 cm) of rain on North Carolina since Thursday, the NWS said.
"Those rivers are going to start to crest later today and Tuesday and maybe longer".
"Many people who think that the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Officials are planning to airlift food and water to Wilmington after the city of almost 120,000 people became cut off from the rest of North Carolina by rising flood water from Florence.
Spokesman Tony Underwood said a woman and her child were on their way to visit relatives when she drove past some barricades on N.C. Highway 218 in northern Union County.
Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people. "As you can expect this is a significant setback at the hands of mother nature but we will prevail".
"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said, before adding: "The worst is yet to come".
Florence made landfall early Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane but weakened over the course of the day to a tropical storm.
"Many of our people are going to be going through assessments here over the weeks and months to be able to quantify the magnitude, but already we have 17 people who have died", Cooper said during a briefing Monday afternoon.
JAMES CITY, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue 7-year-old Keiyana Cromartie and her family from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, United States.
Hurricane Florence: Death toll mounts to 14
Petrol stations were abandoned, with many pumps keeled over, and trees cluttered many roads, making them impassable. A record is also expected at Burgaw, North Carolina, where the height was recorded at 16 feet approaching the record at 22.5 feet, houses in the area are already reported as having been inundated with water.
About 509,000 homes and businesses were without electricity on Monday in North and SC and surrounding states. And that has led to a growing number of power outages.
"Three times in four years is very hard", said Randy Webster, director of the Horry County Office of Emergency Management.
"We would prefer to have a 12th game", Fedora said.
"We'll see how long this lasts".
Five people were arrested for breaking into a Dollar General Store, said Wilmington police, who have imposed a night-time curfew.
"If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water".
Flood and flash flood warnings remain in effect for much of North Carolina.
Swelling rivers and creeks threatened dams and bridges.
City officials estimate there has been $6 million in damages so far, Stephens said.
The centre of the storm was just west of Raleigh, the state capital, and moving north at 14 miles per hour (22 kph), the hurricane centre said.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina, freeing up federal resources to boost recovery efforts, the White House confirmed Saturday.
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While the amount is unofficial, it would shatter the old record of 24 inches - set near Wilmington during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In Wilmington , near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows broken.
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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". Florence's 30 inches of rainfall has broken the statewide rainfall record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of 24.06 inches.
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