Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence

At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence

Cooper said the state was getting forecasts of rivers being higher than they were during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 when North Carolina saw significant flooding across the state. A powerful 10-foot storm surge left around 150 people stranded and waiting to be rescued in New Bern, North Carolina, Friday morning.

Two people were killed in Lenoir County, according to Emergency Services Director Roger Dail during the storm.

Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power.

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely unsafe situation and it's getting worse", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, and called Florence a "thousand-year rain event".

"Our preparation is now having to turn to determination and we're going to work hard to recover and recover quickly", Cooper said.

"It can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland through the weekend", the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. Friday.

A mother and infant were killed by a fallen tree on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to local police. "I got off the phone with the mayor here, she says in the next three to five day, the three major rivers in this county are expected to crest", Leitner continued.

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

More than 1 million people are under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders due to Florence and more than 10 million people live in places under storm watches or warnings.

People being rescued by the US Army in New Bern North Carolina
People being rescued by the US Army in New Bern North Carolina

The storm's intensity held at about 90 miles per hour (144 kph), and it appeared that the north side of the eye was the most risky place to be as Florence moved ashore.

Hurricane Florence delivered a slow-motion assault to the coast of North Carolina early Friday, with catastrophic storm surge and torrential rains that will continue for days. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

"This is not the first hurricane to hit North Carolina", said Curliss, who noted that many lagoons are at a low point across the state at this time of year. In addition to the 20,000 evacuees in North Carolina shelters, SC housed 5,500 people in 59 shelters as of Thursday night, a state Red Cross spokesperson said. That, in turn, could trigger epic flooding well inland.

There are 62 industrial hog farms within North Carolina's 100-year floodplain, environmentalists estimate, and Duke Energy Corp has four coal ash sites in the coastal area touched by Florence.

This satellite image shows Hurricane Florence as it made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually make a right hook to the northeast over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week. Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com estimates Florence could drop about 18 trillion gallons of rain. It tore roofs and facades off buildings and toppled trees. "Houses. Trees", Holt said.

The city awoke Friday to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts of wind throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions.

"I will suggest to you that the spirits of our evacuees are relatively high", said New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

"As a state, we have put our head in the sand", Representative Pricey Harrison said.


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