Sunday, 21 October, 2018

SC communities race to beat risky flooding

Donald Trump Modal Trigger AP
Sherry Houston | 22 September, 2018, 16:38

Florence, which has dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain on North Carolina since Thursday, was interrupting supply lines around the state and into neighboring SC.

Duke Energy, the area's biggest utility, reported that tens of thousands of customers in North and SC were still without power Thursday.

So far, 31 people in the state have been killed by Florence.

Most of the damage caused by Harvey and Florence has come from the flooding, which has devastated cities and rural areas, turning highways into rivers and pastures into lakes.

Officers were going door-to-door along the river in Brunswick County, North Carolina encouraging residents to evacuate.

The county has assembled several rescue crews to save people from floods and filled thousands of sandbags over the last couple of days, officials said on social media. Other deaths have been reported earlier in SC and Virginia.

"I'm just assuming, based on the depth of the water that we had in North Carolina and the amount of rainfall, that we probably will exceed what we had in Matthew", Commissioner Steve Troxler said in an interview after flying over flooded areas.

"We know it's coming and we hope that it won't be near as bad as the models have predicted", Georgetown County Emergency Management Director Sam Hodge during a Facebook Live event on Friday.

Thirty flood gauges in North and SC showed flooding on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion in a letter that says the flooding will be the worst disaster in the state's modern history.

In Bladen County, North Carolina, about 100 people and 33 animals were rescued "in a risky operation in the middle of the night" after a dam burst, Cooper said in another post.

"Got it? Have a good time", Trump was caught saying on video as he handed a meal to a man in hard-hit New Bern - prompting an incredulous MSNBC reporter to say off camera: "I think he just said, 'Have a good time'".

Around 750 roads remained closed across North Carolina on Thursday, down from around 2,200, according to the state's Department of Transportation.

More than 300,000 across the state remained without power as of Tuesday morning, according to Duke Progress Energy.

Paige Sheehan, a spokeswoman for Duke Energy, said the company did not believe the breach at the L.V. Sutton Power Station posed a significant threat for increased flooding to nearby communities because the river is already running high. The utility said it did not think any coal ash was at risk.

About 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs were killed after water inundated farms in the flood zones.

Members of North Carolina's congressional delegation have said they expect a relief package to move through Congress next week, Moore and Berger said, they want to clear the red tape as soon as possible so federal money can be immediately directed to the appropriate state agencies. More than 60 people needed rescue from high waters flooding parks and roads in Fayetteville and its suburbs, where a dam overflowed and thousands of people within 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of the river were warned to find higher ground.

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