Hurricane Florence cuts off road access to N. Carolina city

Gwen Vasquez
September 17, 2018

"As rivers keep rising and rain keeps falling, the flooding will spread".

In Swansboro, North Carolina, almost 34 inches of rain had fallen by Sunday afternoon and 20 other places in North Carolina had at least 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Major flooding has made roads impassable thoughout New Hanover County, and some 600 roads in the state were under water on Sunday, including a huge stretch of I-95 from north of Fayetteville north to USA 64.

"It has already dumped 20 to 30 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas with more to come", said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center's Weather Prediction Center.

The photos above show the striking contrast of some of the most affected locations before and after Florence brought heavy rains, storm surge and damaging winds.

"We were able to get into the air and see significant damage in eastern North Carolina", Cooper told reporters at a press conference Sunday.

In Fayetteville, a North Carolina city of about 210,000 people some 90 miles (145 km) inland, authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear River and Little River to get out of their homes by Sunday afternoon because of the flood risk.

In its initial onslaught along the coast, Florence buckled buildings, deluged entire communities and knocked out power to more than 870,000 homes and businesses.

More than 30 inches (75cm) of rain has fallen across North and SC since Friday, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes. Six people died in SC, including four in auto accidents and two from carbon monoxide from a portable generator.

SC recorded its first death from the storm when officials said a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

More news: At least 4 dead as Florence hits Carolina coast

The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

"There are no roads. that are leading into Wilmington that are passable because of the flooding that is taking place now inland", Saffo said. Earlier, authorities said two people died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a generator in their home.

President Donald Trump said emergency workers and law enforcement officials were "working really hard". "They have not even begun (to crest)".

"I'm not going to waste my time".

More than 641,000 homes and businesses were without electricity in North and SC and surrounding states, down from a peak of almost 1 million.

As rivers swelled, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from enormous hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

"And we're not done yet", Mr Graham said, adding that some hard-hit areas could get an additional 381 to 508mm because the storm was moving so slowly.

In the town of New Bern, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers had to use inflatable boats to reach people. State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said one of his top priorities was determining how to restore ground access to the area. In the neighbouring town of Trenton, downtown streets were turned to creeks full of brown water.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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