Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas

Tropical Storm Florence is expected to creep slowly through SC over the weekend.

The storm has killed at least five people in North Carolina.

Authorities on Saturday warned residents displaced by a killer hurricane that its devastation was far from over, as Florence dumped "epic amounts of rainfall" across the southeastern United States, bringing catastrophic flooding and up to 13 deaths.

Members of the military, volunteer groups and first responders used boats and helicopters to rescue hundreds of people stranded in cars and homes.

A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail. "This is an incredibly serious situation", it tweeted. More and more inland counties are issuing mandatory evacuations to get people to safety quickly'.

"People fail to heed warnings and get out or they get into the flood waters trying to escape their home". The hurricane center said it was expected to become a tropical depression Sunday morning.

"We continue to assess conditions in the central and southeast portion of the state to identify opportunities to safely increase operations in those areas as well", Capt. Bion Stewart, leader of the Coast Guard's response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, said in a statement. She called damage to thousands of buildings "heart-wrenching". As the storm sat along the edge of the Atlantic, some stretches along the coastal Carolinas received close to 20 inches of rain.

"The river is coming up into our property", said Susan Bostic, who lives in Rocky Point, North Carolina.

The Governor urged residents and travellers to avoid driving throughout the state because most roads are still at risk of major flooding as rain continues to hammer down. "We face walls of water".

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The National Weather Service is calling for record-breaking flooding of New River, Northeast Cape Fear River and Trent River following Hurricane Florence.

The rain from Florence in Wilmington pushed its 2018 rainfall total to 220.4cm. The previous record of 24.06 inches was set during Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

In Leland, a low-lying city north of Wilmington, homes and businesses were engulfed by water. "Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late last Friday. The intensity of the rain shouldn't be as extreme as it was Friday and Saturday, but downpours may not fully relent until some time on Monday.

"Flash flood warnings are now in effect across a large portion of southeastern North Carolina and portions of far northeastern SC". During the evening and at night, this heavy rainfall should spill into southwest Virginia.

The parts of the country still in the storm's path have been saturated by summer rains and can not soak up any surplus from Florence.

It is expected to weaken gradually as it moves inland, heading northwards through the OH valley by Monday. Both states also are at a risk of unsafe flash floods and river flooding. Two to four inches of rain is likely to fall in this zone in a relatively short time, with isolated amounts over six inches.

Spokeswoman Megan S. Thorpe at the state's Department of Environmental Quality said state regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of the site as soon as safely possible.

As the water levels rise, dire rescues are ongoing.

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