Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Florence pours on the rain amid fears of catastrophic floods

Florence's deluge testing South Carolina infrastructure 150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC
| 18 September, 2018, 09:14

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.

"Flash flooding will continue over portions of the western mid-Atlantic regions", the NHC said.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. More than 2.4 million people were evacuated from China's southern Guangdong province ahead of the massive typhoon, the strongest to hit the region in almost two decades.

Flooding concerns extend beyond the coast of North Carolina as well.

That's just the number of customers without power in the Carolinas.

More than 100 people were rescued and up to 75 more were awaiting rescue on Saturday morning, according to a town official. Some other parts of SC could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said.

A tornado watch was issued for parts of North and SC as emergency management officials also warned of the potential for dam failures and landslides.

One of those was the Waccamaw River in South Carolina's Horry County, which had reached 8.9 feet by Saturday; it floods at 11 feet.

Florence is forecast to crawl west into SC on Saturday, and at hundreds of miles wide, it will continue to batter the region for days.

The Northeast Cape Fear River flooded there after Hurricane Floyd, destroying her original home.


"It's the first time we've ever had to move anything like this", Rose said.

"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighbourhood making sure my neighbors are fine because nobody can get in here".

Basketball great Michael Jordan, who grew up in North Carolina and owns the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, and new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper are providing relief to those affected by Florence.

Volunteers and city workers have been filling sandbags, trying to plug a low point in the city's levee system before the Lumber River crests.

A strong typhoon tore through the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday packing winds of more than 200 kph (124 mph) along with torrential rain, killing three people and causing floods, landslides and power outages.

"If you live in south Lumberton, west Lumberton, go ahead and leave now while you can, please", Cantey told CNN on Saturday morning.

The center of the hurricane's eye came ashore at about 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT) near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, with sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. "If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water".

A mother and her child were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home on Friday. A 61-year-old woman died Friday night when her vehicle struck a tree that fell during the storm, state emergency officials said.

Higgins says they had no problems moving the prisoners to other facilities and that all of them will get one free phone call so their family members will know where they are now located.

Two men were also killed in Lenoir County, North Carolina. They later clarified those deaths were not related to Florence.

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