Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

'Nightmare that won't end': Storm evacuees can't return yet

Hog farm buildings are inundated with floodwater Sunday near Trenton N.C Hog farm buildings are inundated with floodwater Sunday near Trenton N.C
Guillermo Lane | 19 September, 2018, 05:30

Officials said residents should not attempt to return to the counties along the state's coast around Wilmington yet due to continued risk of flooding.

In South Carolina, officials are investigating after a man drove into standing water on Pond Branch Road near Gilbert and died. It was not clear how long he had been stranded.

As part of the Charlotte Hornets' effort to help residents who have suffered the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence, Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan had donated $2 million to organizations aiding in the relief and recovery efforts.

The dead included a one-year-old boy, who was swept away from his mother as they tried to escape their auto amid floodwaters.

Trump previously declared states of emergency in North and SC, and Virginia to the north.

"The storm has never been more risky than it is right now", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference yesterday. More than 1,000 roads remain closed in the state, and flooding could get worse.

"I think the next 48 hours are going to be incredibly critical", he said.

Thousands of rescues have taken place in the two states and over 650 people were taken to safety in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, said Barbi Baker, a spokeswoman for New Hanover County. In the port city of Wilmington, residents awoke to the sound of power transformers blowing up, plunging homes into darkness as Hurricane Florence's howling winds whipped through the streets sending metal signs, water and debris flying.

Jim Trogdon, the N.C. Transportation Secretary, clarified in a press conference Monday afternoon that one road to Wilmington is open.

Wilmington's mayor said he was working with the governor's office to get more fuel into Wilmington.

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But the city had received 456 requests for tree debris removal, the report said, with more coming in all the time.

A 3-month-old baby boy whose North Carolina mobile home was split by a falling pine tree is among at least 18 deaths linked to Florence.

At least 32 people have been killed since Florence came ashore as a hurricane on Friday, including 25 in North Carolina and six in SC.

"We will do whatever it takes to keep the American people safe", the president said.

Preliminary statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed Florence had the fourth-highest rainfall total of any hurricane to hit the United States mainland since 1950, with 35.94 inches at Elizabethtown, N.C. Harvey's total of 60.58 inches previous year in Texas is No. 1.

"It's all kind of a blur", Mr. Monroe said. The weather service believes the river will likely flood more severely during Florence than it did during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Emergency officials had difficulty keeping up with the scope of the spreading disaster.

"At the end of the day, it makes you think about the path that you have taken, and where your life has taken you", Jordan said.

"We reached out to try to find as many partners who are willing to sacrifice and give to this cause", Jordan said.

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