Monday, 22 October, 2018

Death toll rises to 8 as Florence pours on the rain

Hurricane Florence Dumps 'Epic Amounts of Rainfall' On US States Vision Christian Radio
Glenn Montgomery | 18 September, 2018, 09:30

It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.

A heavy-duty response already is slogging through heavy rains and floodwaters to help people trapped or displaced by Florence's watery onslaught.

The storm's responsible for at least 12 deaths. A major flood was already in progress in eastern North Carolina where over 30 inches of rain had fallen.

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. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, with a population of 200,000.

— A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.

"That's terrific. Nothing sells flood insurance like a storm", said Robert Hunter, who ran the National Flood Insurance Program in the 1970s.

Stream gauges across the region showed water levels steadily rising, with forecasts calling for rivers to crest Sunday and Monday at or near record levels.

On US Route 401 nearby, rain rose in ditches and around unharvested tobacco crops along the road. In the neighboring town of Trenton, downtown streets were turned to creeks full of brown water.

The company hasn't yet determined whether any contamination entered the Cape Fear River. "There's too much going on", Cooper said.

"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them you are risking your life", he added.

Catastrophic flooding from Florence spread across the Carolinas on Sunday, with roads to Wilmington cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles inland.

According to the report, "The depression is moving toward the west near 8 miles per hour (13 km/h)".

A downed tree uprooted by Hurricane Florence likes next to homes in New Bern, N.C., on September 15, 2018. It was downgraded to a tropical storm later Friday. It went up 5 feet overnight and was at 17.6 feet, more than 4 feet above flood stage, by Saturday night. As the river kept rising Sunday, he knew it was time to flee. "It was creeping up those steps" from the basement, said his jittery wife, Ellen. I mean, it came up, two hours and it was gone. "I think we're OK".

Image Hurricane Florence Wimington
Wilmington residents stand in line outside Harris Teeter to buy groceries after Hurricane Florence on Sept. 16

In South Carolina there are more than 66,000 power outages because of Florence.

Near the Sutton Power Plant in Wilmington, coal ash leaked from a Duke Energy landfill.

In New Bern, swift water boat teams rescued almost 500 people who made a decision to wait out Florence, some scrambling into their upper floors, attics and even roofs to escape shockingly fast floodwaters.

The Florence death toll rose to 13 when authorities in SC revealed that a Horry County couple died from breathing in carbon monoxide from a power generator in their home.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team that was using a phone app to locate people in distress.

The other victim, another 78-year-old man, was found dead at his home.

More than 500 people were rescued from high waters around New Bern and Jacksonville, NC, according to the Associated Press.

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.

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

Among the fatalities are a mother and her baby killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, by a falling tree.

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

The president may travel to the region next week, the White House has said.

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