Florence batters Carolinas with torrential rain, flooding; 8 dead

Gwen Vasquez
September 16, 2018

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE plans to travel to areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week once conditions improve and his visit won't disrupt recovery efforts, the White House said Friday. SC recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her auto hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

The figure included a woman and her baby killed when a tree fell on their house, while a sixth fatality occurred in SC.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

Mike Pollack searches for a drain in the yard of his flooded waterfront home a day after Hurricane Florence hit the area, on September 15, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Cooper said others should not follow suit. "This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall: in some places, measured in feet, not inches".

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned on Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.

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.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry says "we've done this many times before".

"The flood danger from storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hrs ago", North Carolina Emergency Management said on Twitter.

The doors of many homes suffered so much wind damage they appeared to have been kicked in, while the city's beloved fibre-glass bear statues, which are sponsored by local businesses, were floating down streets.

The storm's first casualties, which included a mother and her baby killed when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina, were announced about eight hours after Florence came ashore on Friday (local time).

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"You evacuate from water", Cline said.

In Pender County, a woman died from a heart attack after paramedics were not able to get to her.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Gov Cooper said. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man perished when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

Along with this projection, NHC warned of "life-threatening" storm surges and floods throughout both North Carolina and SC.

Almost three feet of rain has fallen on portions of North Carolina, a reported record for the state for rainfall from a single storm.

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

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.

Grounded: More than 2,400 flights canceled.

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.

As Florence lingers over east SC, officials are keeping an eye on areas prone to flooding.

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.

At least six people have died so far as tropical storm Florence continues crawling westward.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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