Carolinas face days more of catastrophic flooding from Tropical Storm Florence

Gwen Vasquez
September 15, 2018

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is awesome and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday.

The storm battered the coastline throughout Friday and Saturday with hurricane-force winds and as much as 2ft (60cm) of rain in some areas of North Carolina. Rescue crews used boats to carry more than 360 people from rising water in the river town of New Bern, North Carolina, while many of their neighbors awaited help.

"The sad thing is that this is a low income area - a lot of people just don't have insurance but they are too attached to their homes and families to leave".

With Hurricane Florence pummeling the Eastern Seaboard, reporters are shooting outdoors in storm-drenched areas to show viewers at home just how serious the storm is.

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

"Please be safe and be smart and use your common sense", Cooper added.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore. The other major supplier in southeast North Carolina - North Carolina Electric Cooperatives - recorded major outages extending 80 miles inland.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

A mother and her infant are dead after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington. The father was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries.

More news: SC prisoners evacuated due to Hurricane Florence, SCDC says

In Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest found their path blocked by downed trees.

Horry County officials told The Sun News that emergency personnel are still responding to calls and never stopped. The governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon. Officials in South Carolina's Craven County say conditions are much worse than some residents expected, with almost 500 people calling the local emergency services hotline asking for help. Coastal water has risen 5-feet above sea level near Wilmington and 8-feet above sea level near New Bern according to recorders in tide buoys, which you can track here.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

"I'm surprised this is that high", Hudson said.

Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue 7-year-old Keiyana Cromartie and her family from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, North Carolina.

"The cost to SC, if that happens, if the storm continues the way it is going, could be in the billions", Dahler said.

As the storm center shifts farther inland, counterclockwise rotation around the center of circulation will continue to pull in loads of tropical moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and pushing up against the more rugged terrain of central and western North Carolina. Across the two states there are some 30,000 people staying in emergency shelters.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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