Monday, 24 September, 2018

Flood waters rise, eight killed as Florence dumps 'epic' rain on Carolinas

Misleading Florence headlines suggest ‘MYRTLE BEACH COULD GET CUT OFF’ | Myrtle Beach Sun News Florence lumbers inland, leaving five dead, communities flooded
Elijah Vega | 16 September, 2018, 10:07

Hurricane Florence is tearing through the Carolinas with disastrous flooding and record-setting rainfall. "That's why we've been preaching to people that you have to get away from the water".

A couple of tornadoes are still possible through Sunday in North Carolina and northeastern SC, the NHC said.

Florence's death toll could rise as a number of deaths are being investigated to see if they were caused by the storm. It was downgraded Friday afternoon to a tropical storm with winds of 70 mph (110 kph) before its core slogged into coastal SC hours later.

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late on Friday.

Cooper said others should not follow suit.

Cooper warned: "Don't drive through water, no matter how confident you feel or how much you want to get out of the house. Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesVolunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina.

WILMINGTON: Florence barreled into the Carolina coast and moved inland on Friday, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Florence already has set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths. At least four people were killed.

A 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said.

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"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers". The man's family found his body Friday morning, according to Dail.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued by boat from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, whose team used a phone app to locate people in distress.

The storm's center is crawling inland over SC, but many of its main rain bands still are over already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. Significant weakening was expected over the weekend. Over a million residents in North Carolina are now without power and authorities have confirmed at least five deaths.

Earlier Saturday, officials in North Carolina's Carteret County said two people were dead as a result of the storm. And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported. "Nobody expected this", a rescued resident, Tom Ballance, toldThe Weather Channel.

As for the landslides, Gov. Henry McMaster did warn about possible landslides in the state, but he was referring to northwestern portions of the state, not the Grand Strand.

And dolphins were spotted closer than usual to shore near in Wilmington, North Carolina.

23 aviation rescues, and counting.

"It's not often that we have to prepare for a hurricane in the mountains, but we are doing so on our campus", Jason Marshburn, the director of safety and emergency management at Appalachian State University in Boone, wrote in a letter to students and faculty members. The Lumber River is expected to crest at more than 11 feet (3.3 meters) above flood stage Sunday, which would put the floodwaters near the top of the earthen dike containing the plant's coal ash dump.

This post will be updated.

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