Saturday, 20 April, 2019

Five dead in Carolinas as Florence brings ´epic´ floods

‘We Are Coming To Get You’ | 150 Residents Stranded In New Bern, North Carolina Weatherman Braces For Hurricane While 2 Guys Walk By As If Nothing's Wrong
Sandy Nunez | 15 September, 2018, 22:32

Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night. The city of New Bern tweeted to its residents early Friday morning, "We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday.

The centre of the slow-moving storm, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane after it came ashore Friday afternoon, was almost stalled over SC early Saturday, about 55 kilometres west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 8 km/h and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea.

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.

National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted Florence would drop up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

Florence now huge, slow-moving tropical storm.

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Tropical Storm Florence - continuing to weaken - moved slowly at 3 miles per hour west through the Midlands on Saturday, showering Lexington and Richland counties with 2-4 inches of rain and wind gusts at around 50 miles per hour, the National Weather Service of Columbia reported. By Saturday afternoon, Swansboro, North Carolina had recorded over 30 inches of rain - and at least another foot was in the forecast.

The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles (560 kilometers) wide, Florence continued deluging the Carolinas on Saturday morning after pushing surging seas far ashore.

Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the electricity went out. "Trees are blowing down in the wind".

Rivers have already burst their banks in some areas with the Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina yesterday spewing water over its banks and into nearby streets.

Another woman who was rescued by another group in New Bern told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360˚" that she and her family thought they would be safe in their brick home and heard the storm had been downgraded from a Category 4. "In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina in southwest Virginia". Gusts reached over 100 miles per hour - the highest recorded in North Carolina since 1958.

There have been no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries, but officials said more than 100 people were rescued in New Bern, as the downtown area of the city was under water.