Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Florence flooding spreads as storm heads northeast

Florence flooding spreads as storm heads northeast

Many areas in South Carolina's northeastern corner are already covered in water as the state prepares for what officials say could be as much as a foot more of water flowing into the state's rivers following Florence.

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

The coastal city of Wilmington remained cut off by flood waters from the Cape Fear River on Monday.

"It's fun to get out and everybody's getting stir insane being stuck in the house, but that's a lot of water that has to go somewhere", he said.

Florence was a tropical depression on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour (45 kph) as it headed through Virginia and toward New England. About 14,000 people are in shelters, officials said.

New Bern, North Carolina, a town of 30,000 located at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers, was one of the hardest-hit spots when Florence first came ashore and City Manager Mark Stephens said it was one of the worst storms in its 308-year history.

Six deaths have been confirmed in neighboring SC, with the latest being the driver of a pickup truck who drove into standing water in Lexington County.

The death toll climbed by two as authorities found the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away after his mother drove into floodwaters and lost her grip on him while trying to get back to dry land.

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As of today, 356 primary roads are closed in North Carolina, up from 108 on Sunday, said Secretary of Transportation Jim Trogdon. Most of the outages were in North Carolina.

About 509,000 homes and businesses were without electricity on Monday in North and SC and surrounding states.

At least 23 people have been killed as a result of the storm, which made landfall on Friday as a Category-1 hurricane. He had been evacuated a day before by troops in a truck.

"'We got them out, but by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned".

Long said more havoc lays ahead as the storm broadens its geographic scope over regions deeply saturated with water.

Sean Adams, 29, a contractor from Leland, said his home suffered only minor damage but he had no idea when power might be restored.

Flooded roads have also prevented some North Carolina farmers from accessing their fields and livestock to assess damage, said Andrea Ashby, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "It's getting frustrating", he said.

As this storm continues to churn through North Carolina, it has dumped almost two feet or more of rain in many places. Six people died in SC, including four in vehicle accidents and two from carbon monoxide from a portable generator.

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