President Trump issues disaster declaration for North Carolina

18 September, 2018, 09:15 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas swelling rivers

A day after Florence blew ashore in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and other rescue crews used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to reach scores of people trapped on rooftops or otherwise caught in the floodwaters.

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land. "This is a monumental disaster for our state".

Though it was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at landfall Friday and later weakened to a tropical storm, Florence remains a massive storm that will dump trillions of gallons of rain on eastern North Carolina before sweeping across SC.

Mangkhut had been a category 5 storm for days since wreaking havoc in US Pacific territories of Micronesia before edging towards the Philippines, where it is the 15th and strongest storm this year.

About 488,551 of those power outages are in North Carolina, and 16,385 are in SC.

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Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it's unclear how many did.

"River flooding is dynamic and it's happening all over our state", Cooper said.

The Duplin County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page on Saturday that two people died due to "flash flooding and swift water on roadways". "Please don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued", he said.

That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River inlet.

North Carolina emergency response department officials said that 23 truckloads of Meals, Ready to Eat - packaged USA military rations - and crates of bottled water had been sent into Wilmington.

Reporters for The Associated Press, the news site Quartz and Puerto Rico's Center for Investigative Journalism have compiled the most detailed portrait yet of the agonizing final days of victims of Hurricane Maria, interviewing 204 families of the dead and reviewing accounts of 283 more to tell the stories of heretofore anonymous victims. "As the water recedes things will get better". "If the river rises to the level they say it's going to, then this warehouse is going to be under water", he said. Record flooding is expected Tuesday on the Cape Fear at a crest of 62 feet (nearly 19 meters) there. But the storm was shaping up as a two-part disaster, with the second, delayed-action stage consisting of epic inland flooding, caused by rainwater working its way into rivers and streams.

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"It's worrying to watch the water slowly rising", said Denise Harper, a resident of Grifton, another small North Carolina town threatened by rising water in a nearby creek and the Neuse River.

Renato Solidum, a senior official at the Science and Technology department, said people in northern Luzon experienced a super typhoon in 2016 and were not caught off guard. Thousands of people were staying in emergency shelters.

Although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, slow-moving Florence is already blasting North and SC with torrential rain and severe floods.

Early Monday, the storm was centered about 145 miles west-northwest of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Tornadoes are also a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC". Trump will travel next week to areas hit by Florence.

Tropical Storm Florence churns towards United States coast
And it would be the first major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) to hit the East Coast since Jeanne, which struck Florida in 2004. AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains.

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AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi said the ground in North and SC and Virginia is already saturated from recent rains. Usually storms come to the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic from the south - and those usually curve safely out to sea.