Florence dumps heavy rain on Carolinas, kills 7

15 September, 2018, 20:18 | Author: Sheila Harris
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Five people died on Friday, including a mother and baby who died in Wilmington.

Tropical Storm Florence, downgraded from a hurricane Friday, remains over the Grand Strand Saturday with the National Weather Service warning of potential flash flooding and storm surge.

Police confirmed the fatalities on Twitter, saying the father of the child was being transported to a local medical centre to be treated for his injuries. By Friday morning Florence had already sapped power to almost 450,000 customers in the Carolinas, emergency officials said.

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.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said. As the storm stalled, forecasters warned "torrential rains will come:" an additional 20 to 25 inches in eastern North Carolina and up to 15 inches inland.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence is expected to be re-categorised as a tropical depression by the time it moves into the mid-Atlantic states and New England in the middle of next week. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, Florence was centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, moving west at 2 mph (4 kph), not even as fast as a person can walk.

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"Nothing of depth has been said [in my conversations with Hurricane Florence evacuees]", Lauren Yeary, a 26-year-old insurance agent from Knoxville, Tennessee, told Insider. In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina into southwest Virginia.

The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

"The cost to SC, if that happens, if the storm continues the way it is going, could be in the billions", Dahler said.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour, just barely a hurricane and well below the storm's terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 miles per hour earlier in the week.

Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering". Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted during the height of the storm. "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". Many locations in southeast North Carolina are likely smash this old record by the time the rain ends. A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday. Rains have been relentless, and Florence continues to dump a "catastrophic" amount of water in its path.

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    Governors of those states have already declared states of emergency, as have the governors of Virginia and Maryland. Emergency workers monitor hurricane progress at the Emergency operations centre in Wilmington, North Carolina.
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