Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Relentless rain threatens North Carolina agricultural town

Relentless rain threatens North Carolina agricultural town

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nueces and Trent rivers.

"Know that the water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood", Cooper said.

Its surge could cover all but a sliver of the Carolina coast under as much as 11 feet (3.4 meters) of ocean water, and days of downpours could unload more than 3 feet (0.9 meters) of rain, touching off severe flooding.

At 2300 EDT (0300 GMT), the NHC said Florence had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km), and was slowly drifting westward over SC.

Hurricane Florence was making landfall in North Carolina early Friday pushing a life-threatening storm surge for miles inland with screaming wind that was destroying buildings in its path.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.

The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC.

In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding.

Wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour were recorded in the Myrtle Beach area.

In Goldsboro, North Carolina, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, roads that frequently flood were already closed Saturday by rushing water.

More than 10 million people are under hurricane watches or warnings and 1.7 million have been ordered to evacuate the coast.

The operations were made more perilous by fallen trees and power lines; officials didn't expect power to be restored for weeks.

Florence weakens to Category 2 hurricane but still life-threatening: NHC
He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet. And Florence remained capable of unleashing rain-fueled catastrophic flooding of rivers and low-lying areas across a wide region.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm would dump as much as 76cm to 102cm of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC, as well as up to 25cm in southwestern Virginia.

Cooper said many people in his state who may think the storm has missed them have not yet seen its actual threat to their regions, advising residents inland that "rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped", reaching their highest level days from now.

Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill. The ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including lead and arsenic.

The 18th century town, with a population of 30,000, has been badly flooded, with 4,200 homes damaged.

With flood waters rising rapidly in many communities, stranded people were being rescued by boat and by helicopter, while tens of thousands of others hunkered down in shelters.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday announced the death of a 61-year-old woman who died when her vehicle hit a downed tree on a highway.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued by boat from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, whose team used a phone app to locate people in distress.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

The casualties include a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit hurricane-hit areas next week "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts". Floyd produced 24 inches (61 cm) of rain in some parts of North Carolina while Florence already has dumped about 30 inches (76 cm) in areas around Swansboro.

The hurricane center said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

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