Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Hurricane Florence: As floodwaters rise, death toll reaches 14 in North Carolina

Hurricane Florence: As floodwaters rise, death toll reaches 14 in North Carolina

Cooper, however, said the storm, which was downgraded to a tropical depression early Sunday, prevented officials from seeing the full scope of the damage.

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

The death toll rose to at least 17.

Deadly storm Florence moved across western North Carolina early on Monday and continued to dump rain that has nowhere to go except to swell rivers, flood highways and homes, and threaten more lives as it heads towards Virginia and New England.

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

"Many rivers are still rising, and are not expected to crest until later today or tomorrow".

About 467,000 customers were without service in North Carolina, including in the Wilmington area, which is surrounded by floodwaters and has been cut off.

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With so many roads in and out of the region flooded, he could not access supplies to help start rebuilding.

It has dumped up to 40 inches (100 cm) of rain on North Carolina since Thursday and continued to produce heavy rain over much of North Carolina and eastern SC, the NWS said.

Officials urged people who had been evacuated to stay away.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

The sheriff's department and volunteers, including locals and some who came from Texas, rescued stranded residents by boat, extracting families, infants, the elderly and pets.

Petrol stations were abandoned, with many pumps keeled over, and trees cluttered many roads, making them impassable. The US president is also expected to visit the areas soon.

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An additional 6 to 10 inches of rain is still possible along the southeast border of North Carolina and SC . Tillis added that it is "very hard to say" when North Carolinians could expect life to return to normal.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near North Carolina's coast, Bryan Moore and his nephew Logan did exactly what authorities warned against: they left their homes to go swimming in the floodwaters after having spent days at home without electricity or running water.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

About 1.7 million individuals in North Carolina, South Carolina as well as Virginia are under voluntary or even obligatory evacuation directions together with countless others reside in places destined to be impacted by the storm.

He said the storm had killed at least five people, but there were fears that number could rise.

Up to 20,000 people are in emergency shelters in North Carolina alone.

An abandoned car's hazard lights continue to flash as it sits submerged in a rising flood waters after Hurricane Florence struck in Wilmington, North Carolina. Authorities say a 1-year-old North Carolina boy is missing after being swept from his mother's arms by floodwaters. "They have not even begun (to crest). He calmed the waters and he's going to look after us".

Winds have dropped to about 55 kmh since it roared ashore on Friday as a hurricane and it is crawling west over two states at9 kph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said yesterday.

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The storm formally generated landfall close to Wrightsville Seaside, North Carolina at 7: 15 am (1115 GMT), and the Country Hurricane Center stated.

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