Flood waters rise as Florence pummels Carolinas; at least eight dead

Pablo Tucker
September 16, 2018

In North Carolina, rivers rose to record levels and more people have been asked to evacuate as authorities worry another round of flooding could come in the next few days.

Video posted on Twitter showed a meteorologist telling viewers they'd be taken to coverage from sister station WPDE in Myrtle Beach.

Paige Sheehan, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, said the company has worked to prepare for potential flooding at its coal ash sites and cooling ponds by pre-staging equipment and staff to respond quickly if required.

An ominous tweet appeared on a historic North Carolina community's Twitter feed about 2 a.m. Friday.

Hurricane Florence is tearing through the Carolinas with disastrous flooding and record-setting rainfall.

More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury.

In New Bern, about 90 miles northeast of Wilmington at the confluence of two rivers, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000 and left the downtown area under water.


More than 16 inches of rain have fallen in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way, the hurricane center said. "Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern to central Appalachians from western North Carolina into southwest Virginia through early next week".

More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.

People wait in line to fill up their gas cans at a gas station that was damaged when Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington, North Carolina. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 21 miles per hour on September 14 morning in Columbia. Its winds were down to 75 km/h.

"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. But even before the storm made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, experts were warning that low-income neighborhoods were already poised to bear the brunt of its ruination.

It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.

Schoolteacher Leslie Ochoa said she and her family loaded up 10 adults, 5 children, 14 goats, 10 dogs, two cats and one guinea pig and evacuated from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina last Tuesday.


About 600,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina.

He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery".

And a 77-year-old man died when he was knocked over by wind, he said.

For more on Hurricane Florence, visit the FOX 46 Resource Center.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

None of the people rescued were injured.

Nakisa Glover, a National Climate Justice Fellow at Hip Hop Caucus based in North Carolina, said in a phone interview that while the mandatory evacuation orders might make "logical sense in theory, if you don't have the resources, you can't just leave your home in a lot of cases".


The pair of dolphins swam near the battered coastline as the storm's waves and high winds raged around them.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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