Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Slow-Moving Florence Causing Major Flooding As It Swirls Over Carolinas

Slow-Moving Florence Causing Major Flooding As It Swirls Over Carolinas

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence.

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system. Florence, meanwhile, was still plodding across SC at a pace slower than a normal person walks. Newport, N.C., has already accumulated 23.7 inches.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

To give a sense of the scope of inundation to come, the river's crest was expected at 19.1 feet, beating the record 17.9 feet set during Hurricane Matthew.

Power outages affecting more than 900,000 in Carolinas. He said "if those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters".

As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 5 a.m. ET, top sustained winds had dropped to near 80 km/h with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

At one point, the 350-mile-wide but slow-moving storm packed winds so fierce that "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor almost lost contact with CBS News' New York studio during the morning broadcast.

In its initial onslaught along the coast, Florence buckled buildings, deluged entire communities and knocked out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses.

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"Remember most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars".

The hurricane centre said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a sharp rightward swing to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

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

Florence's death toll could rise as a number of deaths are being investigated to see if they were caused by the storm.

It was downgraded to Category 1 before coming ashore on Friday near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Doll said that people living in low-lying areas next to streams, creeks and rivers, especially in farther inland areas, need to pay attention and evacuate in case rivers start flooding.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington. The child's father was taken to a hospital.

In Pender County, a woman died from a heart attack after paramedics were not able to get to her. Paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

As Hurricane Storm Florence lashed through the Carolinas with howling winds and heavy rain, one reporter was captured attempting to keep it together as winds appeared to lash at him, but was mocked when two people were seen walking behind him with little difficulty.

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