Science

Florence hovers over coastal states, raising fears of epic flooding

Florence hovers over coastal states, raising fears of epic flooding

After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 miles per hour winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore.

Now its maximum sustained winds are about 50mph (80km/h) and it's a tropical storm.

As of 8:00 p.m., Florence was centered about 65 miles east-southeast of Columbia, SC and its winds were down to 45 mph, but with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday. Thousands of people were evacuated from flood-hit areas as the rescue operations were intensified by the authorities. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, which has a population 200,000.

But the hurricane had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, drenching coastal communities for hours on end.

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

In a subsequent tweet, Mr. Trump claimed that the reporting was "done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico". "More than likely it's maybe a mindset of 'we've been through this before, '" he said.

Get the latest weather forecast for central OH at Dispatch.com/weather. Heavy rains will continue to fall in the Carolinas and heavier rains are expected to spread into western parts of North Carolina, in addition to some parts of eastern Tennessee and eastern Georgia, Doll said.

Roads were closed and authorities warned of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled.




"Unfortunately, Duke Energy has spent years lobbying and litigating and still has not removed the coal ash from its risky riverfront pits in the coastal area, some of which are in the floodplain", said Frank Holleman, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center who has battled the company in court.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quinton Washington said.

In the town of New Bern, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers had to use inflatable boats to reach people.

"Right now we've rescued over 400 people".

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people were safely rescued in the town of 30,000 residents.

That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River Inlet.

Wilmington Police confirmed that a mother and her infant died when a tree fell on their home.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday announced the death of a 61-year-old woman who died when her auto hit a downed tree on a highway. "And this is a massive storm that has put a lot of rain and a lot of water on our coast and inland".

The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.