Friday, 19 October, 2018

Florence lumbers inland, leaving five dead, communities flooded

In this NOAA satellite handout image captured at 7:45 a.m. ET shows Hurricane Florence as it made landfall near Wrightsville Beach North Carolina Image Hurricane Florence hit the coast near Wrightsville Beach North Carolina
Sherry Houston | 18 September, 2018, 09:12

And that's when people found themselves trapped in their homes as the water rose.

Southeast North Carolina has taken the brunt of the storm thus far, with several areas suffering through flood emergencies, which continued to worsen overnight Friday in places like Jacksonville. "We don't (where we're going) yet".

A day after Florence blew ashore in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and other rescue crews used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to reach scores of people trapped on rooftops or otherwise caught in the floodwaters. Thousands of people were staying in emergency shelters. The Salvation Army and American Red Cross usually work with the Baptist group by transporting those prepared meals to the hardest-hit areas.

Sixty-seven-year-old Sadie Marie Holt was among those rescued Friday. "I'm a little bit scared right now", she said, "but I have my iPad and I'm watching Netflix".

He said that "unfortunately" conditions in his county were "deteriorating overnight".

In Wilmington, an all-time-record water level was recorded on Friday, qualifying the storm as a 1-in-a-100-year weather event. We got thrown into mailboxes.

That should spell some relief for the inundated areas of Onslow County, but unfortunately puts the city of Wilmington, southeast coastal communities of North Carolina and northeast areas of SC in the line of fire instead. When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina with record rainfall, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell - and combined with high tide, made for unsafe flooding.

"So dramatic!" one social media user tweeted with the video.

"It's the worst feeling in the world to hear people yelling for help, and you can't do anything", she said.

"We are asking the people to remain alert and continue taking precautions", said PAGASA meteorologist Rene Paciente.

The city installed 11 pumps to help deal with the river, but Mayor John Cantey said he wants people living near it to get out.

U.S. correspondent Cordelia Lynch, who is in New Bern, said: "This community in the weeks and months to come is up against a great deal of flooding".

Authorities in some areas of northern Luzon turned off power as a precaution, and said some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters. Around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the electricity went out.

As of noon, Emerald Isle had over 23 inches of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot. About 40 minutes later, he woke and went to a sun room, where he'd boarded up all the windows except for a small hole.

Here is the latest on the storm from Gray TV affiliate WITN out of Greenville, N.C. "These were waves crashing down".

The 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach scores of people besieged by rising water along a river.

Water was rising Saturday morning in a flood plain near the Waccamaw River, lapping up against homes and pooling over at least one main road. Kenneth Campbell had donned waterproof waders intending to check out his home in Lumberton, but he didn't bother when he saw the Coast Guard and murky waters in his neighborhood. Ballance called the rainfall "biblical", saying he's gotten reports from friends that his downtown seafood restaurant was flooded, just like the rest of the downtown.

Florence flattened trees, damaged buildings and crumpled roads.

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