WHAT'S HAPPENING: Rain still in the forecast from Florence

Doug Carpenter
September 18, 2018

Washington, Sep 15 (IANS) At least seven people were killed as hurricane Florence made landfall in the U.S. state of North Carolina, battering the state with a powerful combination of wind and rain.

Catastrophic flooding from Florence spread across the Carolinas on Sunday, with roads to Wilmington cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles inland. He praised emergency services responding to the storm on Friday. Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. In Hampstead, emergency responders going to a demand cardiac arrest found their route blocked by downed trees. Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has confirmed the storm-related deaths of an 81-year-old man in Wayne County who fell and struck head while packing to evacuate Friday.

"I'll tell you, this one is so widespread, you're going to have a hard time finding a North Carolinian who is not going to be affected by this storm in some way", Cooper said.

As Hurricane Storm Florence lashed through the Carolinas with howling winds and heavy rain, one reporter was captured attempting to keep it together as winds appeared to lash at him, but was mocked when two people were seen walking behind him with little difficulty.

The White House said President Donald Trump was to visit hurricane-hit areas next week "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts".

"Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement - not easy, very unsafe, tremendous talent".

In some places, the rain finally stopped, and the sun peeked through, but North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned that dangerously high water would persist for days.

"You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the authorities in New Bern said on Twitter.

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. They are part of Cajun Navy which is an informal volunteer group set up after Hurricane Katrina.

Florence made landfall early Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane but weakened over the course of the day to a tropical storm. The state Emergency Management Division estimated more than 170,000 South Carolinians were without power before lunchtime Saturday. Annazette Riley-Cromartie acknowledged she and her family belief they'd be superior of their brick home in eastern North Carolina.

Rapid response teams were on stand by with the air force for search and rescue missions as authorities undertook damage assessments in areas in the path of the storm, which felled trees, electricity poles and tore off shop signs and sheet metal roofs hundreds of kilometres away.

Wilmington was battered by high winds and rising flood water as a pier was smashed by a huge wave.

Mason Tarr said he spent the night at a friend's house but didn't sleep well.

In North Carolina, fears of what could be the worst flooding in the state's history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it wasn't clear how many had fled or even could.

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