Sci-tech

Florence pours on the rain amid fears of catastrophic floods

Florence pours on the rain amid fears of catastrophic floods

The storm's center is crawling over SC, but many of its main rain bands still are over already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities.

Storm Florence has battered the eastern U.S. coast with non-stop rain, surging seawater and howling winds. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores could get gusty winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Helene, and Ireland and the United Kingdom could get hit with the storm's remnants early next week. Forecasters said another 1½ feet could fall by the end of the weekend.

"Into next week our rivers are going to continue to rise and there will be more significant flooding", Cooper said.

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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.

Emergency workers went door to door urging people to flee Florence's rising floodwaters Saturday and rescuers used inflatable boats to pluck others from homes already submerged as the storm's epic deluge swelled rivers and creeks across the Carolinas. 20,000 people had holed up in Red Cross shelters in the region ahead of the storm.

The viral video, which has more than 13.6 million views, showed Weather Channel correspondent Mike Seidel in Wilmington, North Carolina, trying to fight the heavy wind as he reported live from the storm on Friday.

North Carolina utilities estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.

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As of 8 p.m., Florence was centred about 65 miles (100 kilometres) east-southeast of Columbia, the SC capital, crawling west at 2 mph (4 kph) - not even as fast as a person walking.

Florence has been dumping non-stop rain over areas already flooded by seawater and swelling rivers and creeks across both states.

Wildlife also found itself directly affected by Florence's floodwaters, including these deer seen swimming through neck-deep water. Areas of West Virginia, northern Virginia, western Maryland and Pennsylvania mountains are likely to be vulnerable to flash flooding.

Tropical Storm Florence is practically stalled over the Carolinas and the monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter). By the time it made landfall at 7:15 a.m., the storm was whipping winds at 90 miles per hour.

North Carolina has been declared a disaster zone, with flooding expected to worsen in some areas. The father was transported to a nearby hospital to receive treatment for injuries he sustained.

In Lenoir County, a 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords, and another died when he was blown away by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs.

The administration is also working to prevent catastrophes likes those seen in previous years with their newest alarm system. It's not yet clear how the sixth person died.

"We knew going into this, this was a potential and we were going to make sure we had enough resources out there to protect the property as best we could, so that people had evacuated, heeded the warnings and made sure they took safe shelter, didn't have to worry about their property", he said.


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