In this combination of photos, water floods a street on Sept. 15, 2018, on the left, and on Sept. 19, 2018, after the water in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, N. C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Florence had almost 3 feet (1 meter) of rain in North Carolina as the storm moved slowly over the state, flooding towns, closing roads and killing dozens of people.
Tens of thousands were ordered to evacuate communities along North Carolina’s rising rivers. In New Bern, 4,300 houses were flooded, a third of the total number of dwellings in the city.
More than 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel with 36 helicopters and more than 200 boats were employed in North Carolina, and the Department of Defense assigned to 13,500 military personnel to help relief efforts.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the 2,600 employees and 300 animals were rescued. The storm also closed from 1200 North Carolina roads, including 357 primary roads.
The Cape Fear River crested at 61.5 feet (18.75 meters), early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. More than 5 million gallons (19 million gallons) of partially treated wastewater spilled into the river after the power went out in a treatment plant, the officials said.
In Fayetteville, about 100 miles (160 km) inland, near the Army’s sprawling Fort Bragg, flooding from the Cape Fear River got so bad that the government closed the vehicle bridge, after the water began to touch the beams supporting the span of the top deck. Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said that it was unclear whether the bridge was threatened.