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

'The water kept rising': Residents overwhelmed by flooding

'The water kept rising': Residents overwhelmed by flooding

In the city of New Bern near the North Carolina coast, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000, which is at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane.

In Fayetteville, a North Carolina city of about 210,000 people about 90 miles inland, authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear River and Little River to get out of their homes because of the flood risk.

By Friday evening, the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Other areas throughout the region reported flooded and impassable roads, downed trees and power lines and power outages of more than 125,000 customers.

On Saturday some residents tried to return to home, driving through flooded highways armed with chainsaws to clear fallen pine needle trees that covered the road.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to The Hill that Trump would head to storm-damaged regions "early to middle next week" and that more information about his travel plans would be forthcoming.

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

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the USA are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more. A group of deer were spotted swimming behind a CBS news correspondent Adriana Diaz's right shoulder while she was covering flooding in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

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"We just don't want people to think this is over because it's not".

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.

"Some of our beloved bears have wandered away", city officials tweeted next to a picture of the statue.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders. In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. "More than likely it's maybe a mindset of 'we've been through this before, '" he said.

The storm dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. Almost 2,100 flights have been canceled through Saturday.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" - civilians equipped with light boats, canoes and air mattresses - who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

The North Carolina Baptist Men's organization planned to begin soon moving kitchen equipment inland, where they expect to prepare 85,000 meals a day when all its feeding operations are up and running.

The small town of Hamlet in Richmond County, North Carolina, for example, is full of toxic emitters: within its borders are a chicken processing plant, an energy company and a wood pellet manufacturer that broke ground within the past few years.

Flash flood are expected to his the south-east coast as the storm moves across land.

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