Warning of 'catastrophic' flash-flooding as Florence deluges parts of US

Pablo Tucker
September 17, 2018

The death toll rose to at least 14 from Florence, which crashed into North Carolina as a hurricane on Friday, bringing record rainfall.

The military announced Saturday it was deploying almost 200 soldiers to assist in storm-related response and recovery efforts, along with 100 trucks and equipment.

Federal data show there were roughly 5.1 million active flood insurance policies in the U.S.as of July 31, up from 4.94 million a year earlier.

In the Lehigh Valley, Davis said the rainfall could result in some localized flash flooding and wind gusts of about 20 miles per hour, much less than the over 105 miles per hour gusts Thursday night that sent seawater surging ashore along the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

At 11am, Florence was centered about 65km west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, inching west at four km/h - not even as fast as a person can walk.

It comes after a mother and her eight-month-old child were killed when a massive tree crushed their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

A baby boy is among 17 people killed as rain and flooding from storm Florence continues to cause chaos in the US.

"If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water".

The coastal city of Wilmington remained cut off by high flood waters early on Monday, tens of thousands of homes were damaged and at least 17 deaths were reported in North and SC.

Rain continues to inundate the region causing concern for large scale flooding after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina and SC area.

Floodwaters were rising near businesses in LaGrange, N.C., as Tropical Storm Florence pounded the area, September 15, 2018.

Around 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

At least two people died from electrocution while attempting to connect their generators, while one couple died of monoxide poisoning from running their generator indoors.

But as the rain continued to fall, its officials were asking North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper for additional law enforcement, including the National Guard, White said.

Long said more havoc lays ahead as the storm broadens its geographic scope over regions deeply saturated with water. So it's "time to go out and have a drink".

Authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear river and Little River to get out of their homes by Sunday afternoon because of the flood risk.

Bostic said her family lost everything when the Northeast Cape Fear River topped its banks during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. As rivers keep rising and rains keep falling, the flooding will spread.

In Goldsboro, North Carolina, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, roads that frequently flood were already closed Saturday by rushing water.

In New Bern, along the coast, aerial photos show homes completely surrounded by water, with rescuers using inflatable boats to reach people.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 762mm of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

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