Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

Killer storm far from over, U.S. officials warn as 'epic' rain falls

Killer storm far from over, U.S. officials warn as 'epic' rain falls

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

The mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, says his city has imposed a curfew.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Cooper said in a statement.

"Those rivers in North Carolina that have received heavy rainfall are coming our way", Governor Henry McMaster said during a news conference. Earlier, authorities said two people died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a generator in their home.

CNN are reporting that while the storm's center is now slowly making its way over SC, many of its main rain bands remain in place over already-saturated North Carolina, setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.

Across the state, around 700,000 people remain without power, he said, and many are likely to be without power "for awhile".

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street.

He said five deaths were confirmed from the storm and "several others are under investigation".

The Washington Post reports that, according to preliminary reports submitted to the National Weather Service, Florence's 30 inches of rainfall in North Carolina has broken the statewide rainfall record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of 24.06 inches.

"Hurricane Florence is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days".

N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said as of noon Sunday there were 171 primary road closures.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some almost 130km away.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", the NHC said.

All roadways in the state are at varying degrees of risk for flash flooding through Sunday, with major river flooding anticipated into early next week.

In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding. At 5 a.m., the storm was centred about 20 miles (35 kilometres) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

Long noted that "recovery is always a very frustrating process for people when they've lost their livelihoods, but we're going to be OK".

Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.

In South Carolina, there were 7,000 people staying in shelters.

With extreme flooding threatening to cut off Myrtle Beach from the rest of the state, SC officials are scrambling to find a solution as Tropical Storm Florence moves slowly through the region.

N.C. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said the state is now involved in a "large-scale search and rescue operation in our coastal counties".

North Carolina is bracing for what could be the next stage of the still-unfolding disaster: widespread, catastrophic river flooding from Florence.

The Navy sent ships to sea Monday from the Hampton Roads area to escape effects of Hurricane Florence.

After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore.

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