Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Deadly Tropical Storm Florence brings 'epic' amount of rain to US

Credit PA Credit PA
Doris Mccormick | 16 September, 2018, 00:03

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning.

Florence diminished from hurricane strength as it came ashore on Friday, but the large storm's slow progress across the two states could leave much of the region under water in the coming days, according to forecasters.

Mother Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby, Zac, were killed after being trapped inside their home in Wilmington when a tree fell onto the roof at around 9.30am on Friday.

Fisher said support staff includes food service employees providing "four hot meals each day" and child care services for about 100 children staying at the hospital while their parents work. "There's a little bit of apprehension as you can imagine", said Major Mark Craddock with the Salvation Army of Cape Fear, who was hunkered down with about 30 others at the organization's shelter in downtown Wilmington, about three blocks from the Cape Fear River.

Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers - and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.

The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper calls Florence the "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

As the storm hovered around eight miles north of Myrtle Beach in SC, residents in the city of Conway, a few miles from the storm's eye, anxious that the Waccamaw river which surrounds the city would soon burst its banks.

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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In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm.

Any returning evacuees have been warned that flooding may last in the eastern Carolinas into next week, inclusive of flooding across roadways and into homes.

A severe inland flood threat is emerging as remnants of Florence pound the Carolinas with almost nonstop rain for a second day since the once major hurricane howled ashore.

New Bern residents were putting out calls for help on social media, claiming they couldn't get through to 911.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said.

Some parts of North Carolina have already seen surges as high as 10ft (3m) in places.

JAMES CITY, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue 7-year-old Keiyana Cromartie and her family from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, United States.

By 5 a.m., about 200 people had been rescued from flooded homes in New Bern, where the National Weather Service reported 10 feet of inundation. But there were times she thought they wouldn't survive, she told CNN.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

The deadly effects of the storm are a result of Florence slowing down in its path, pummelling areas with monumental rains and severe wind.

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