Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Deadly Florence trudges inland in Carolinas with 'epic' rain, flooding

Kristen Harrington | 15 September, 2018, 21:10

A mother and her eight-month-old baby were killed Friday when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from police in Wilmington, N.C. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

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

"This rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the advisory said.

As the United States dealt with Florence, a strong typhoon tore across the northern tip of the Philippines on Saturday, killing at least three people, wrecking homes and triggering landslides before heading toward Hong Kong and southern China. As of Saturday morning, a large swath of the Carolinas were still seeing up to 2 inches of rainfall every hour, and relief might not come for days.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here, but these are the early warnings of the days to come", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters just before the hurricane made landfall.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 kph) over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nueces and Trent rivers.

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As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said.

New Bern mayor Dana Outlaw discusses ongoing rescue efforts.

The deadly effects of the storm are a result of Florence slowing down in its path, pummelling areas with monumental rains and severe wind.

As the storm hovered around eight miles north of Myrtle Beach in SC, residents in the city of Conway, a few miles from the storm's eye, anxious that the Waccamaw river which surrounds the city would soon burst its banks.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Two fins were spotted in the high water in Wilmington.

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. Wilmington, North Carolina saw a wind gust of 105 miles per hour, its highest in 60 years.

Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence
It will likely take until Monday, however, before the threat of significant heavy rain is over, and it will still rain at times. Meanwhile, many were experiencing a complete blackout as the storm damaged infrastructure, utility poles and transmission lines.

"New Bern is just not used to this level of a hurricane", Outlaw said.

Floyd produced 24 inches (61 cm) of rain in some parts of North Carolina while Florence already has dumped about 30 inches (76 cm) in areas around Swansboro, North Carolina, with more on the way.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

Travel on the state's roads has grown "extremely hazardous", said Jim Trogdon, the North Carolina transportation secretary, who warned in a late-morning briefing that a 500- to 1,000-year "flood event is anticipated".

More than 360 people have been carried to safety since Thursday night amid rising waters from a river swelled by both rain and salty storm surge. Officials in South Carolina's Craven County say conditions are much worse than some residents expected, with almost 500 people calling the local emergency services hotline asking for help.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..."

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"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

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