Florence turns deadly, unleashing 'catastrophic' floods on Carolinas

17 September, 2018, 12:54 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern North Carolina

Firefighters and rescue crews pray in front of a home after removing a resident trapped inside during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018.

4 deaths were confirmed by officials as American media reported another, and the storm has wreaked havoc in the Carolinas, lashing the USA states with torrential rain and causing rivers to burst their banks.

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

At a briefing, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the risk of fatality will only grow when people venture out once the winds die down. "(It's) a unsafe situation here", Cooper said.

There had been 3 confirmed deaths from the storm and several others were being investigated to determine if they were storm-related, he said. Emergency crews also rescued an Onslow family from their home where a tree fell through the roof, Jordan said. Officials believe he died of a cardiac event when he went outside to check on his hunting dogs late Thursday night, according to the NC State Emergency Response team.

Calling the deadly storm a "thousand-year rain event", Gov Cooper continued: "The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's getting worse".

Video from Belhaven, North Carolina, showed storm-surge flooding up to the window-level of a house early Friday morning.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting Tuesday in the White House on hurricane preparations as FEMA administrator Brock Long points on a graphic to the potential track of Hurricane Florence.

"Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement - not easy, very risky, tremendous talent".

The hurricane was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico previous year. Storm surge could be up to 13 feet, pushing seawater as much as 2 miles inland.

Environmental groups said Friday that they were anxious that scores of hog lagoons will burst again or be overtopped by flooding, spilling their contents into rivers used as sources of drinking water.

"We're deeply concerned for whole communities which could be wiped away".

"You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter. Coast Guard members said choppers had made about 50 rescues in and around New Bern and Jacksonville as of noon.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

Although the storm is now a Category 1 hurricane, it is still dumping feet of rain over coastal communities.

More than 16 inches of rain have fallen in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way, the hurricane center said.

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most risky place to be as Florence moved ashore.

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken.

On Saturday, its streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers". We have steps on the sides of the house so it's a few feet off the ground anyway.

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