Monday, 24 September, 2018

Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas Misleading Florence headlines suggest ‘MYRTLE BEACH COULD GET CUT OFF’ | Myrtle Beach Sun News
Steven Clarke | 16 September, 2018, 03:01

A mother and her infant are dead after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington.

USA media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

In Pender County, a woman died from a heart attack after paramedics were not able to get to her.

As of Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center announced that Florence is now a tropical storm with maximum wind speeds of 45 miles per hour and said heavy rains and catastrophic flooding will continue across portions of North and SC.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team that was using a phone app to locate people in distress.

Coast Guard helicopters were taking off across the street to rescue stranded people.

Boats are stacked up on each other in a marina as a result from Florence in New Bern, North Carolina.

Hennessy-Fiske reported from Conway, S.C., Megerian from New Bern, N.C., and Jarvie from Fayetteville, N.C.

"It has slowed", he said. "We have started to see the water recede". Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 3 metres, he said.

But the size of the storm meant the path didn't really matter.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center.

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Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths. Many of them are boat owners, who help rescue stricken flood victims.

The Federal Emergency Management Authority said motorists should not attempt to drive through floodwaters. Police say a family of three was in a home on Mercer Avenue this morning around 9:30 when a tree fell into the property.

Power outages increased throughout Friday. By Saturday afternoon, Swansboro, North Carolina had recorded over 30 inches of rain - and at least another foot was in the forecast.

The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm. Bragg - where officials opened emergency shelters and urged riverfront residents to evacuate.

Government aid can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of Hurricane Florence. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave". Flooding also hit the Bogue Sound near Beaufort, the Pungo River at Belhaven and the Pamlico River at Washington. These rains are expected to produce "prolonged, significant river flooding". "For overall damage, it would be hard, at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm".

Travel is extremely hazardous because of storm surge, Trogdon said, and will only get worse.

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

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Others who chose to stay at home perhaps regretted their decision. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern.

Two people died in Lenoir County. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

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