Science

Death toll rise to 13, Florence continues to wreak havoc in US

Death toll rise to 13, Florence continues to wreak havoc in US”

Tropical Storm Florence is causing flash flooding and major river flooding over a "significant portion" of North and SC, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina, last Friday. But its slow march over the two states, crawling west at only 2 miles per hour (3 km per hour), is expected to leave large parts of the region deluged in the coming days.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry says "we've done this many times before". Though the popular North Carolina tourist destination seems to have been spared the worst of Florence's wrath, the islands still have some of the fastest rates of sea level rise in the world, almost an inch a year.

"We've been here for most of my life and this is the first time its gotten that high", said Brittany Krowek, a North Carolina resident.

And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy said heavy rains caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

Over a million residents in North Carolina are now without power and authorities have confirmed at least five deaths.

Evacuation orders remain in place for Horry and Georgetown counties along South Carolina's northern coast.

As of 5 a.m. ET, top sustained winds had dropped to near 80 km/h with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Emergency management officials and nonprofit groups aren't waiting for Florence's rains to end or floodwaters to recede before starting to help people recover from the storm.

Rescue crews used boats to carry more than 360 people from rising water in the river town of New Bern, North Carolina, while many of their neighbours awaited help.

"The main thing right now is to get this water pumped down" from the city, he said.

"The worst is yet to come", he added. The National Weather Service measured storm surge in New Bern at 10 feet (3 meters) deep.

On Saturday, its streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris. Sutton was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills.

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 eastern United States, bringing catastrophic flooding.

Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths.

A downed tree and water from the Neuse river are seen on a flooded street during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

Forecasters say heavy rains also are expected early in the week in parts of West Virginia and the west-central portion of Virginia.



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