Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Five dead in Carolinas as Florence brings ´epic´ floods

Five dead in Carolinas as Florence brings ´epic´ floods

"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday morning near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland. Six sheriff's officers came to his house to rescue him Friday morning, but he didn't need to leave since the water was dropping by then.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", said Ballance, owner of a seafood restaurant that was flooded.

A video of Weather Channel's Mike Seidel battling wind gusts in the eye of hurricane Florence has gone viral for all the wrong reasons, after two men casually walking by in the background were spotted on live broadcast. "We are stuck in the attic". More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.

Hurricane Florence has barrelled into the Carolina coast and moved inland, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Over 1,400 flights have been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com, as most of the coastal region's airports are closed to ride out the storm.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man perished when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

Top winds were holding at 90 miles per hour - that's just a Category 1 hurricane - but some communities were already submerged in more than six feet of water as the storm drenched the coast.

Why a weaker, Category 2 hurricane is still unsafe
At least 280,000 people are already without power as the outskirts of the storm lashed North and SC , and Virginia. The hurricane's surge could cover large swathes of the Carolina coast under as much as 11ft (3.3m) of seawater.

Many residents along the coast were issued mandatory evacuations, with forecasters warning of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding".

Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

New Bern resident Latasha Jones is one of the more fortunate ones.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out.

On the mainland in New Bern, authorities said more than 100 people had to be saved from floods and that the downtown area was underwater.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

Roy Cooper, governor for North Carolina, said: "The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's going to get worse".

"When it comes around back, that's when I'll be making a call", he said.

Like this: