Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Virginia bracing for heavy rain, flooding in southwest area

Eduardo Munoz  Reuters               A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson North Carolina Eduardo Munoz Reuters A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson North Carolina
Guillermo Lane | 18 September, 2018, 03:46

By midday Monday, authorities reopened a single unidentified road into the town, which stands on a peninsula.

"We're not going to stop until we reach all of these folks and get them to a safe shelter", Cotton told Good Morning America Saturday morning.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.

The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would travel to the region next week unless his visit would disrupt cleanup and rescue efforts.

Tailgaters only had one choice for a college football game Saturday in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated from unsafe areas.

Catastrophic flooding wreaked havoc on parts of eastern North Carolina, which sustained 2 feet of rain in some areas, and up to 40 inches in other hard-hit spots.

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

Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds on Thursday.

Florence, now a tropical storm, swirled at a near-standstill over the Carolinas on Saturday, dumping non-stop rain over areas already flooded by seawater and swelling rivers and creeks across both states.

As rivers swelled toward record levels, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from enormous hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

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 (75 centimeters) and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches (60 centimeters) on the state.

150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC
Duck, Duck, Duck... Fox?

Forecasts call for the river to crest Monday at Fayetteville at more than 62 feet (19 meters) - almost 30 feet (9 meters) above flood stage. Flood stage is 18 feet.

To give a sense of the scope of inundation to come, the river's crest was expected at 19.1 feet, beating the record 17.9 feet set during Hurricane Matthew.

Money also is available to the state, some local governments, and some private nonprofit groups on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work in those counties. The tropical storm's maximum sustained winds are holding steady, remaining at around 50 miles per hour, with higher gusts in heavy rainbands over water, the NWS said.

The storm was downgraded from its original category three hurricane status - but the region is still being pounded by rain and people are being urged to stay off the roads.

Environmental groups said Friday that they were anxious that scores of hog lagoons will burst again or be overtopped by flooding, spilling their contents into rivers used as sources of drinking water.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will travel through upstate SC, be downgraded to a tropical depression, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.

Images captured by Associated Press journalists show flooded streets, uprooted trees, stranded residents and recovery crews in the aftermaths of Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut.

The monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to one meter.

Flash flood are expected to his the south-east coast as the storm moves across land.

Tornadoes are also a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC". But the water kept rising.

Ralph Northam is warning residents in the southwest part of the state to prepare for flooding and possible landslides early next week from the remnants of Hurricane Florence.

At least 4 people killed, including mother and baby. Many locations in southeast North Carolina are likely smash this old record by the time the rain ends.

Florence: North Carolina's rivers still rising after record rain
I was in one in Wilmington yesterday that had something like 400 cars waiting in line to fill their tanks and their canisters. Roy Cooper urged residents who were evacuated from the hardest-hit areas to stay away because of closed roads and flooding.


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