Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Florence death toll up at 11, including 3 killed by flooding

Florence death toll up at 11, including 3 killed by flooding

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

Some towns have received more than two feet of rain from Florence, and forecasters warned that drenching rains totalling up to three-and-a-half feet of water could trigger epic flooding well inland through early next week.

"The risk to life is rising with the angry waters", Gov. Roy Cooper declared as the storm's death toll climbed to 15.

In Rocky Point, North Carolina, Susan Bostic and her family were packing to leave Saturday morning, even though Florence's center was long gone.

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday and was crawling west at just 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

Clemson officials moved up the start time to noon from 3:30 p.m. because forecasts called for a more significant impact from Florence to occur Saturday night and Sunday.

Crews have conducted about 700 rescues in New Hanover County, where more than 60 percent of homes and businesses were without power, authorities said. The flash flooding could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges.

On Friday, the sustained winds were recorded upto 70mph.

Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region, the U.S. media reported. Rain-soaked furniture workers helped him quickly empty more than 1,000 mattresses from a warehouse in a low-lying strip mall.

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

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches.

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The company hasn't yet determined whether any contamination entered the Cape Fear River. The gray ash that remains after coal is burned contains potentially harmful amounts of mercury, arsenic and lead.

One potential road out was blocked as flooding forced the shutdown of a 16-mile (26-kilometre) stretch of Interstate 95, the main highway along the Eastern Seaboard.

Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents and their pets from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, United States.

Mackie rode in a boat through a flooded neighborhood, navigating through trees and past a fence post to get to the Knox house.

Woody White, chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County, said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city of almost 120,000 people.

New Bern, which has a population of about 30,000, was once the capital of the state's colonial government.

Householders were stranded in their cars, attics and on rooftops.

The 49 lives saved included 11 children, the Coast Guard said.

In Lumberton, about 80 miles (130 kilometres) inland, Jackie and Quinton Washington watched water filling both their front and back yards near the Lumber River. "We don't (where we're going) yet".

The only storm-related death in South Carolina was confirmed by South Carolina Highway Patrol who said that a woman died Friday night after the vehicle she was driving struck a tree.

The Duplin County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page on Saturday that two people died due to "flash flooding and swift water on roadways".

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