Florence turns deadly, unleashing 'catastrophic' floods on Carolinas

Cristina Cross
September 17, 2018

The mother and baby were among a family of three who were in a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, when it was struck by a falling tree.

Still, there was some good news: Power outages in the Carolinas and Virginia were down to about 650,000 homes and businesses after reaching a high of about 910,000 as the hurricane plowed into the coast. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern.

Florence may drench the Carolinas with an unthinkable amount of water this weekend: 18 trillion gallons, or enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay. Winds and rains from Hurricane Florence caused the Neuse River to swell, swamping the coastal city.

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.

Florence's forward movement during the day slowed to a near-standstill - sometimes it was going no faster than a human can walk - and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

"The thing that's so similar about this, not necessarily the intensity, is it's behaving a lot like Hurricane Harvey a year ago, how it's just kind of parking here, slowly moving, dumping tremendous amounts of rain and some of these areas could see 20 to even 30 inches of rain by the time it's all said and done", Rigsby explained.

Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people.

By Saturday morning, top sustained winds had weakened to 50 mph as it moved farther inland at 2 mph about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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More than 760,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state, AFP reported.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday. 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. "Our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger". "I'm kind of glad that I'm there to deal with a lot, at the same sense, the element of the unknown is kind of iffy".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2:30 a.m.

Would you like to get published on Standard Media websites? "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was, ” he said. “This is a 500- or 1,000-year event. ”Eudy´s family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said". Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..."

In the neighbourhood where the mother and child died, resident Frank Hendrickson pointed to a tree that fell next door to him but spared a neighbour's house. CORRECTING TYPO IN CITY NAME People wait to be rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.

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