Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence

Dolphins swimming in flood water caused by Hurricane Florence

The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.

But in North Carolina rivers were swelling towards record levels, forecasters warned, and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in state history.

Hurricane Matthew sent more than 5 feet of water into their home in 2016, and the couple feared Florence would run them out again. "And numerous rivers will see prolonged flooding, some not cresting for a few days".

About 760,200 of those customers are in North Carolina; 36,200 are in SC. Many people didn't leave. Authorities in the U.S. state of North Carolina have warned residents that flooding could get worse.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity even as flood waters inundated whole communities.

In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15am at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, had about 7 inches.

Up to 40 inches (102 cm) of rain are expected along coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia, the NHC said.

Doll said that people living in low-lying areas next to streams, creeks and rivers, especially in farther inland areas, need to pay attention and evacuate in case rivers start flooding.

Officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state.

In one piece of good news, authorities said 16 wild ponies of hurricane-struck Ocracoke Island, located off the North Carolina coast, were safe.

Governor Cooper advised North Carolina residents inland that rivers will rise days after the rain has stopped.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got more than 30 inches and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches on the state.

It has already claimed five victims, with a mother and her baby crushed by a tree in North Carolina.

In New Bern, about 90 miles northeast of Wilmington at the confluence of two rivers, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000 and left the downtown area under water. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

"I'm a nurse and I will be at work taking care of the patients like we're supposed to", she said.

More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds collapsed part of the roof.

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

The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern.

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