Florence, a onetime hurricane that weakened to a tropical depression by Sunday, dumped up to 40 inches (100 cm) of rain on parts of North Carolina since Thursday, and continued to produce widespread heavy rain over much of North Carolina and eastern SC, the National Weather Service said. An Associated Press analysis found there are roughly 5.1 million active flood insurance policies in the US, and while many new policies were signed after Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of Texas and Louisiana past year, not all vulnerable homeowners are covered.
The most rain so far from Florence was 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina, a new record for a single hurricane in the state.
A baby boy is among 17 people killed as rain and flooding from storm Florence continues to cause chaos in the US.
It had picked up pace somewhat, moving west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph), and its center was expected to move across the western Carolinas during Sunday and the Ohio Valley and Northeast United States on Monday and Tuesday.
Catastrophic floods raised the threat of dam breaks and landslides across the southeastern United States on Sunday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen people dead and billions of dollars in damage.
“Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life”, Gov. Roy Cooper said.
Florence’s merciless deluge has already killed 18, trapped hundreds and made parts of North and SC impassable – and the worst flooding is yet to come. He also said officials were working on “other contingencies to support Wilmington on the ocean side”.
Woody White is chairman of the board of commissioners of New Hanover County.
A mother and her child were killed in Wilmington when a tree fell on their home on Friday. “It’s worrying to watch the water slowly rising”. I-40 is the main corridor between Wilmington and Raleigh.
In New Bern, a riverfront city near North Carolina’s coast, the storm tore away porch steps, splintered balconies and sent a yacht ploughing into a garage that shattered like kindling. New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people had been rescued in the town of 30,000 residents without any serious injuries or deaths.
A tiresome, leaden sky hung over Grifton on Sunday.
In North Carolina, fears of what could be the worst flooding in the state’s history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it wasn’t clear how many had fled or even could. “The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event”, said Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington.
Massive flooding has heavily affected North and SC and while the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression, forecasters are still warning of flash floods throughout the region. “Our teams have been coordinating with our local, state and federal partners to ensure that as favorable operational conditions increase, we work together as efficiently and effectively as possible”.
Typically, it’s a tourist city and home to EUE Screen Gems, a movie studio that helped give the city the nickname of “Hollywood of the East”, although production has dropped since lawmakers scaled back film incentives.
“Our roads are flooded”, he said.
The death toll from Florence stood 11 early Sunday, and authorities worry it may climb higher. That’s enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water.
Data show that even with the increase in flood insurance coverage over the past year, the number of homes covered is down 3 percent in North Carolina and 6 percent SC compared with five years ago.
Major flooding has made roads impassable thoughout New Hanover County, and some 600 roads in the state were under water on Sunday, including a huge stretch of I-95 from north of Fayetteville north to USA 64. “Flash flooding and river flooding impacts will continue over a long period of time due to the historic amount of water falling across the region”.
Sutton was mothballed in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills.