Florence weakens to depression, flood risk rises - 9/16/2018 4:10:51 AM

18 September, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Herd of deer rush to safety during Hurricane Florence

Earlier this week, when it announced it was temporarily unlocking extra battery capacity in a number of cars of customers affected by Hurricane Florence. Add Hurricane Florence as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Hurricane Florence news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

According to the National Hurricane Centre, the storm will travel through upstate SC, be downgraded to a tropical depression, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.

Of the 20 deaths linked to Florence, 15 happened in North Carolina, and five were in SC.

Though the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm, it has caused and is continuing to cause damage and blackouts throughout the state of North Carolina.

Rivers approached record flood stage and more than 680,000 utility customers were without power Sunday as North Carolina struggled under the crushing fury of Florence, the mighty hurricane diminished to a tropical depression but still pounding the region with unrelenting rain.

The coastal North Carolina city of Wilmington, population 117,000, is so deeply submerged that no one can get in - not even aid workers carrying fuel and critical supplies.

The Horry County Coroner's Office in SC confirmed that Debra Collins Rion, 61, and Mark Carter King, 63, died Friday night from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator, the Mrytle Beach Sun News reported.

Florence is forecast to "drop nearly double" the volume of rain over the state compared to Floyd, tweeted Ryan Maue, meteorologist for weathermodels.com.

Between 25 and 30 inches of rain has fallen in the area, causing widespread floods.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted a Facebook update Saturday saying the herd of wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs were "doing their normal thing - grazing, socializing, and wondering what us insane humans are all worked up over".

A storm surge warning is in effect for Myrtle Beach, SC to Ocracoke Inlet, NC, and the Pamlico Sound, including the Pamlico and Neuse rivers.

Tropical storms Helene and Joyce are predicted to bring 80mph gales, torrential rain and floods. Southwest Virginia could see up to 15 inches, and the rest of the mid-Atlantic and New England states face 10 inches of rain. Lane just last month dropped a maximum of 52.02 inches of rain in Hawaii, breaking the state record.

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Southern and western North Carolina: An additional 10-15 inches, with storm total accumulations up to 20 inches in western North Carolina and up to 40 inches in southeast North Carolina.

Florence also now stands as the sixth-highest tropical cyclone rainfall total across the USA for records dating back to 1950.

North Carolina is the United States' second-largest hog producer, making about 15 percent of US pork.

Hoffman, North Carolina, has seen 19.96 inches and Conway, South Carolina, has seen 8.68 inches - with two days of rainfall to come.

Serious flooding is expected throughout the two states, and some rivers may not crest for another three to five days. "This is an epic storm that is still continuing because the rivers are still rising".

More than 20,000 people in North Carolina spent Friday night in emergency shelters.

When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for unsafe flooding. During Matthew, it reached 58 feet.

Some who had evacuated returned home Saturday evening to survey the damage.

A downed tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence likes next to homes in New Bern, N.C., on September 15, 2018. The town had 4 1/2 feet of storm surge.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles from the coast. "If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water", he said. It's about 425 miles west of the Azores, moving north-northeast at 22 mph.

The elevation will serve as a forcing mechanism for the abundant low level moisture being dragged in by Florence, essentially creating an ideal environment for torrential rain and the possibility of mudslides, especially Sunday into Monday. Totals could exceed 4 inches locally for inland NY and MA.


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