At least 14 deaths in the Carolinas linked to Florence

At least 14 deaths in the Carolinas linked to Florence

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

Officials in SC are reporting that three people have died in connection with Hurricane Florence.

After looking at an analysis of expected rainfall, flooding and the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which hit SC as a Category 1 storm in 2016, officials determined that the Pee Dee River basin could flood, swelling rivers that would overtake a number of bridges on major routes, as early as Monday night. Earlier the two states announced evacuation of coastal areas with a population of more than 1.5 million people.

The expected 20-plus inches of rain over five days forecast by the National Weather Service means Fayetteville and the surrounding area will likely experience two 500-year floods within two years.

Florence has already brought more than 2 feet of rain to some towns in the Carolinas.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, after stalking the coastline for days. It has top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph) and is moving west at 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

A 16-mile stretch of a main highway out of the area, I-95, was shutdown due to severe flooding. "Florence's 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay", its article says. Other parts of the Carolinas will be left with up to 20 inches of rain, causing significant river flooding, with some rivers not cresting until later this week.

Torrential rain from Florence is now causing rapid rises in area rivers. The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to overrun their banks, possibly flooding cities and towns.

People wait in line to fill up their gas cans at a gas station that was damaged when Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington, North Carolina.

Hurricane Florence Dumps 'Epic Amounts of Rainfall' On US States

Landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachias across western North Carolina into southwestern Virginia as Florence moves inland.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against such behavior as roads became increasingly unsafe.

Cumberland County, North Carolina, ordered a mandatory evacuation of homes along the Cape Fear River Saturday over flooding concerns.

In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people Saturday.

About 100 people still need to be rescued in New Bern, North Carolina, where some 4200 homes have been damaged, the mayor told CNN. About 31 inches (79 centimeters) was reported in Swansboro, on the North Carolina coast.

Flooding is even anticipated in Charlotte - more than 200 miles inland - as well as Fayetteville and Columbia.

"Amazing. They did awesome", said Knox, who was stranded with seven others, including a boy carried out in a life vest.

In South Carolina, a woman was killed when she struck a tree while driving, and a couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator being operated inside their home, officials said. SC authorities reported one death.

By Tuesday, Guy said, "the remnants of Florence will be pushed towards the Northeast, where areas from northern Pennsylvania through central NY towards Boston could pick up some heavy rain". "We didn't know where to go", she said.

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