Nearly stalled, Florence besieges Carolinas with floodwaters

Pablo Tucker
September 17, 2018

Hurricane Florence delivered a slow-motion assault to the coast of North Carolina early Friday, with catastrophic storm surge and torrential rains that will continue for days.

Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state.

A mother and infant were killed by a fallen tree on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to local police. The father was taken to hospital with injuries.

The third death happened in Hampstead, Pender County when a woman had a medical emergency and EMS crews could not get to her due to the storm, according to Tom Collins, Director of Emergency Management.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

A 78-year-old man was electrocuted at a home on Silver Smith Circle in Kinston early Friday morning while trying to connect two extension cords outside in the rain.


In the city of New Bern, one of the hardest hit areas in North Carolina, more than 300 people were trapped in cars, on roofs and in their attics overnight after over 10 feet of storm surge flooded the river-front city.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week. Power outages are widespread, and rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds besieged by the rising waters. Hanks said a fourth person died while checking on his hunting dogs, and authorities believe he was blown over by the wind.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. "We might leave", she said.

The death toll attributed to Florence stands at 16, including 10 in North Carolina and five in SC, reported AP.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus predicted that Florence will be a 1,000-year rainfall event for portions of North Carolina and that it could pan out to be the heaviest rainstorm to hit the East Coast in history.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.


And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina.

Lisa Evers and her daughter, Amanda Hamilton, decorate their storm shutters before leaving their home ahead of Hurricane Florence in Oak Island, N.C.

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

A severe inland flood threat is emerging as remnants of Florence pound the Carolinas with almost nonstop rain for a second day since the once major hurricane howled ashore.

Parts of the Carolinas are expected to see 20 to 30 inches of rain over the next seven days.

"Now a major hurricane with winds of 115 miles an hour and increasing, the National Hurricane Center says Florence's forecast track will take the system over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and Florence will approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday". Trump planned a visit to the region next week.


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