Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

More than 2 feet of rain already had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on as Florence, a hurricane-turned-tropical storm, practically parked itself over the two states.

Some towns have experienced as much 60 centimetres of rain, and forecasters warn that could rise to a metre of downpours, triggering floods deep inland.

Trump tweeted at 7:05 p.m. Friday, about four hours after the first reported deaths from Florence were announced, that he visited Puerto Rico last October and was told by officials on the island that 16 people had died.

Florence is forecast to crawl west into SC on Saturday, and at hundreds of miles wide, it will continue to batter the region for days.

Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds of people trapped by the rising waters. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel. But thousands of buildings were damaged in destruction Roberts called "heart-wrenching".

More than 722,000 homes and businesses were without power in the Carolinas early on Friday, utility officials said.

Rescue workers rush a man to an ambulance after a giant tree fell on a house in Wilmington, Hurricane Florence came ashore, September 14, 2018. The governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Florence had been a category three hurricane with 120mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a category one hurricane before coming ashore.

Retired Marine Garland King and his wife, Katherine, evacuated their home in New Bern on Friday and returned Saturday, sharing a kiss and joining hands as they drew near their house.

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. Rain-soaked furniture workers helped him quickly empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-lying strip mall.

As of Saturday morning, at least six deaths have been blamed on the storm, nearly a million people were without power across North and SC, and some areas have already faced extreme flooding.

At times, Florence was moving forward no faster than a human can walk, and it has remained such a wide storm that its counter-clockwise winds keep scooping up massive amounts of moisture from the sea.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

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

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms. "I've never seen the water as high as it came".

"That's a decision I had to make", he said. Its winds were down to 45 miles per hour.

Most of the rivers in northeast SC and eastern North Carolina are experiencing moderate to major flooding and, in some cases, many continue rising well into next week as floodwaters from the interior flow downstream. And there could be 10 inches (25 cm) in south-western Virginia.

Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said. "We don't need them going back into their areas until they're cleared safe to go". We got thrown into mailboxes.

Fearless volunteers are seen defying the danger and continuing to rescue residents and their pets.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..." Rescuers bypass the house behind the house, bringing those who can't get out myself.

Two elderly men passed away as a result of the storm.

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