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

Glen Mclaughlin
September 17, 2018

"Five spots have preliminarily topped North Carolina's tropical cyclone rainfall record: Swansboro (33.90 inches), Hofmann Forest (25.87 inches), Sunny Point (27.22 inches), Nature Conservancy (26.77 inches) and Newport/Morehead City (25.20 inches)". Many of those were in areas where mandatory evacuations orders were in effect.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

One of the authorities leading the response to Florence says the storm is causing "historic and unprecedented flooding".

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system.

"North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned in a briefing Saturday morning that more people in the state are in danger now than when Florence made landfall there on Friday".

Along coastal communities, people trapped in homes by relentless flood waters awaited rescue, and tens of thousands hunkered down in shelters after fleeing their homes as the storm approached.

Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. "I'm a nurse and I will be at work taking care of the patients like we're supposed to", she said.

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.

Florence slammed into the North Carolina coast as a large hurricane Friday, dumping almost three feet (1 meter) of rain and swelling the region's rivers.

"Unfortunately we've still got several days to go", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told Fox News.

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"Amazing. They did awesome", said Knox, who was stranded with seven others including a boy in a life vest. Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said.

"These rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia", the National Hurricane Center warned in a public advisory.

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area. "It's like are you gonna stay here or are we going to go ahead and leave?"

The storm, which made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday morning and weakened to a tropical storm hours after, caused massive damage across the USA states of North and SC by felling trees, splintering buildings, trapping hundreds of people, inundating communities and knocking out power.

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday and was crawling west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

More information about Hurricane Florence's death toll will be provided as it is updated.

"Rivers are rising to risky levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday.

Three medical centers have been set up in North Carolina.

Storm surges, flash floods and winds have spread destruction widely and the Marines, the Coast Guard and volunteers have used boats, helicopters, and heavy-duty vehicles to conduct hundreds of rescues as of Saturday. "Even though hurricanes are categorized by wind, it's the water that really causes the most loss of life".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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