Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas, swelling rivers

Julia Gonzales | 15 September, 2018, 19:58

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.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

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

Rainfall is already being measured in feet in parts of North Carolina, and there is more to come.

In Beaufort, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported Friday night that the storm was still lashing the city.

It's moving very slowly, at about 2mph (3.2km/h). That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water. "This one is set to linger right where it is for at least 48 hours". Parts of the Carolina coastline have received nearly 24 inches of rain already. This amount would be a state a record for a tropical storm or hurricane if verified. In perspective, Florence could drop up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

The winds will continue to die down, and the storm, with its accompanying moisture, will head west before eventually moving into the Northeast on Tuesday of next week.

Radar loop of Florence over the last 24 hours.

Forecasters say the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina. The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern 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.

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Multiple deaths have been linked to Hurricane Florence, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

Emergency declarations were in force in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Flooding also hit the Bogue Sound near Beaufort, the Pungo River at Belhaven and the Pamlico River at Washington.

There are also tornado watches in effect for some areas of eastern and southeastern North Carolina.

Forecasts call for the river to crest Monday at Fayetteville at more than 62 feet - almost 30 feet above flood stage.

The Cape Fear River in Fayetteville, N.C.is forecast to rise an astonishing 45 feet by Tuesday.

Flooding concerns extend beyond the coast of North Carolina as well. Flash flooding has spread into Raleigh and will expand over Charlotte as well, where flash flood advisories are in effect. Rainfall is expected to be anywhere from 6 to 10 inches in the Piedmont, with the higher totals happening in the southernmost counties.

- Emergency workers went door to door urging people to flee Florence's rising floodwaters Saturday and rescuers used inflatable boats to pluck others from homes already submerged as the storm's epic deluge swelled rivers and creeks across the Carolinas.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some almost 80 miles (130 km) away. Some other parts of SC could see rainfall totals of up to 15 inches, forecasters said.

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