Florence lumbers inland, leaving five dead, communities flooded

Katie Ramirez
September 16, 2018

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

More than five people have died in Hurricane Florence before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Rescue workers rush a man to an ambulance after a giant tree fell on a house in Wilmington, N.C.as Hurricane Florence came ashore, September 14, 2018.

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning.

"The rainfall is epic and will continue to be", Cooper said. The tropical storm's maximum sustained winds are holding steady, remaining at around 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts in heavy rainbands over water, the NWS said.

"Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood", said Governor Roy Cooper.

By Saturday morning the winds weakened to 50mph but the storm's slow speed means that communities in North Carolina are receiving a prolonged battering by torrential rain.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the National Weather Service said there was 10ft of water.

Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN that more than 400 people had been rescued.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

Mr Cooper said: "North Carolina Emergency Management experts have been sharing flood mapping with local officials".

"Some of our beloved bears have wandered away", city officials tweeted next to a picture of the statue.

Florence continues to pound Carolinas with heavy rain
Emergency officials warned residents that the peril had probably not passed, as the storm continued to dump torrential rain. The dead included a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington , North Carolina.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

A mother and her child were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home on Friday.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders.

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her. "And we had no belief it would be as significant an event as it was, ” he said. “This is a 500- or 1,000-year event. ”Eudy´s family has lived in New Bern since the 1850s, he said".

United States media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland, meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated.

The White House on Saturday said President Donald Trump had approved making federal funding available in some counties.

Tropical Storm Florence was about 25 miles (45 km) northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 km/h), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday. They are part of Cajun Navy which is an informal volunteer group set up after Hurricane Katrina.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Survey said.

Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".

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