Science

Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

While Florence is, as of 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, now "just" a tropical storm, it has still ripped the Carolina coast with heavy winds and record-breaking rainfall, causing widespread damage for humans and wildlife alike.

The death toll rose to 11 on Saturday as storm Florence continues slamming into the U.S. East Coast with howling winds and blinding rains, authorities said.

In South Carolina, a 62-year-old woman died when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a road in the town of Union. These rains are expected to produce "prolonged, significant river flooding".

The aquatic mammals are seen swimming against the current of the storm surge as it pounds the coastline near Wilmington, North Carolina, yesterday. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising. But with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it onshore. A 78-year-old man was killed while trying to connect extension cords outside in the rain, ABC News reported, citing Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

"If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible", Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

Straddling the famous Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is also bedeviled by volcanoes and earthquakes, and while there are considerable patches of poverty in North and SC, it is not the same as the rural area where Mangkhut hit.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the USA are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.




SC authorities reported one death.

As of noon, Swansboro, North Carolina, had almost 31 inches of rain, Emerald Isle had over 23, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot.

The storm's arrival brought a 105 miles per hour wind gust at the NWS office about 7 a.m. Friday, said meteorologist Jordan Baker.

A man sits on a park bench in a flooded park as the Cape Fear River rises above its usual height in Wilmington, North Carolina, on September 15, 2018.

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighbourhood during Florence's assault. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.

"Unfortunately, Duke Energy has spent years lobbying and litigating and still has not removed the coal ash from its unsafe 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. It has since been downgraded to a tropical storm, but is not going anywhere fast.

Officials have declared states of emergency in several states, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

The page says service animals aren't barred from evacuation shelters, beaches shouldn't be used for sand bags, and evacuation orders aren't enforced by FEMA.