Monday, 22 October, 2018

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

The shelter of a petrol station lies on the ground in Wilmington The hurricane has torn buildings apart and hundreds have been trapped by rising water
Gustavo Carr | 16 September, 2018, 05:15

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Thousands of people living near North Carolina's rising rivers were ordered evacuated Saturday as hurricane-turned-tropical storm Florence practically parked itself over land and poured on the rain Saturday, raising fears that the state could be in for the most destructive flooding in its history.

Police in Wilmington confirmed the mother, Lesha Murphy-Johnson, and baby Adam died, with the tot's father rescued and rushed to the hospital.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches (60 centimeters) on the state.

"Have skin protection if you're in the water", Schlegelmilch said.

Hurricane Florence, now a tropical storm, is tearing through the Carolinas with heavy rainfall and 50 miles per hour wind.

At 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said Florence had maximum sustained winds near 45 miles per hour. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the storm's center was about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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The governor of North Carolina on Saturday, September 15 warned residents displaced by a killer storm against returning home because of the dangers posed by rising floodwaters.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. "We don't need them going back into their areas until they're cleared safe to go". They ventured out in life jackets into the waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree. Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern in part to protect their house. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled. More than 360 people had been carried to safety since Thursday night.

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. Numerous evacuees took their pets. Atlantic Beach, located on the state´s Outer Banks barrier islands, had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the US Geological Survey said.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help. Although more than $740 million in federal, state and local funds have been spent to address Matthew's damages, state officials are still working to distribute $236 million allocated by the federal government a year ago to help reimburse or pay for extensive home repairs.

Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical storm, swept through the Carolinas on Friday, knocking out power to almost a million homes and businesses and causing multiple deaths. Duke Energy, the area's biggest utility company, said that figure could rise to three million and restoring power could take weeks. It is forecast to crawl through SC into Saturday before turning west and then north across the western Carolinas and toward the Ohio Valley by Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

This is the freaky moment a TV weatherman appeared to be caught faking his battle against gale-force winds during Storm Florence.