Trump declares disaster in 8 North Carolina counties

16 September, 2018, 05:17 | Author: Kara Nash
  • A work truck drives on Hwy 24 as the wind from Hurricane Florence blows palm trees in Swansboro N.C. Thursday Sept. 13 2018

Long accustomed to its residents evacuating north or to other parts of the state when hurricanes threaten, Florida was in the unusual position this week of accommodating diverted cruise ships and hotel-room seekers hoping to escape the wrath of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina.

As of Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center announced that Florence is now a tropical storm with maximum wind speeds of 45 miles per hour and said heavy rains and catastrophic flooding will continue across portions of North and SC.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

Duke Energy Corp, the area's biggest utility with more than 4 million customers, estimated the storm could cause between 1 million and 3 million outages. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had around 7 inches (18 centimeters).

"This is one of the most devastating hurricanes we've ever had", Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN. "Work will begin when conditions safely allow", the company said on its website on Saturday.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm, according to a Reuters report.

"The rainfall is epic and will continue to be", Cooper said.

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline. "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.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation.


Two people also died in Harkers Island, North Carolina, on Friday, Carteret County Director of Emergency Services Stephen Rea said Saturday.

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

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades. The crews tried to move the debris with a front loader, but a tree went through the windshield, causing further delays, the officials said.

Hurricane Florence has killed a mother and child in North Carolina. 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.

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach, S.C., on September 14, 2018.

The National Hurricane Center said as much as 40in (102cm) was expected on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties. Although more than $740 million in federal, state and local funds have been spent to address Matthew's damages, state officials are still working to distribute $236 million allocated by the federal government previous year to help reimburse or pay for extensive home repairs.

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