North Carolina citizens picking up the pieces after Florence
Jonathan Serrie reports from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.
Florence has fallen from more than 8 trillion litres of water since making landfall last week in North Carolina, according to a non-official estimate.
The National Weather Service in Raleigh said Tuesday morning, an unofficial, radar estimate of total rainfall of the ruthless hurricane was tropical depression was about 8.04 trillion litres of rain in the Tar Heel state.
Here is the unofficial, radar-estimated storm total rainfall of #Florence on all NC (actual meter measured amounts are not included). Using the average precipitation over the state, Florence has fallen about 8.04 TRILLION gallons of rain on the NC. #ncwx pic.twitter.com/Y7nKsAoqMp
— NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) September 18, 2018
The number was estimated on the basis of the average precipitation over the state and not the actual meter-measured amounts, the NWS said in a tweet.
Florence, a once powerful Category 4 hurricane, has claimed at least 32 lives in three states – 24 in North Carolina alone, and has city after city is inundated with over 30 inches of rain in some areas.
The floods unfolded just as forecasters predicted, and there is more expected of Florence makes its way slowly north, bringing with it more water to already soaked areas.
Federal and local officials are monitoring the environmental implications of excessive flooding, especially at the various open-air manure pits and coal ash landfills that have been breached by floods.
Florence victims line up for ice cream in Wilmington, NC
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is monitoring Duke Energy’s Brunswick nuclear power plant, which is in the direct path of Florence eye as it made landfall late last week.
A spokeswoman with Duke Energy told Fox News on Tuesday that the installation is safe and that water did not enter the facility. She said that the plant’s two reactors remain shut down, and they expect to restore power to all customers in North and South Carolina at the end of Sept. 26.
Shannon Brushe also pushed back on the reports of the Brunswick plant was isolated because of the flooding and damage caused by Florence. She said about 300 workers remained in the plant during the storm to provide around-the-clock support, but that they never were stranded.
Water rescues in South Carolina after Florence
On Monday it was reported that a plant was placed under an “unusual event” classification by the NRC, its lowest emergency classification – and that the plant itself had limited accessibility by personal vehicles,” as a result of flooding and the damage of the storm.
The News & Observer we spoke of the “storm riders” in the factory, who said that the employees were sleeping on cots and the use of portable toilets, because the water was shut off at the facility and toilets that do not flush. The roads around the plant are largely impassable.
The Brunswick nuclear plant has declared an “unusual event” after the flooded area of Florence limited access to the facility.
(Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
Brushe said that there was “no dire situation” at the factory, and all employees of the plan was to remain at the plant during the storm, because the chance of a flood. She said additional supplies were airlifted in after the storm and that a Walmart in the neighborhood opened its doors on Monday.
“No one expected to go home that night,” she added.
NRC spokesman Joey Ledford told Fox News in an e-mail Monday that the twin-reactor of the nuclear power plant is stable and poses no threat to public safety. In a later e-mail on Tuesday morning, Ledford said the status of the plant had not changed during the night and that there continued to be limited access to the site due to the flooding in the area.
Hurricane Florence: Drone footage shows devastation from the air
Brushe said that some of the employees who were involved in the nuclear power plant during the storm are able to leave. Those who lived nearby, checked on their homes, while some crew replacements are able to get to the plant.
About 30 km to the north, a Duke Energy landfill in Wilmington holding potentially toxic coal ash suffered a violation. The company said that approximately 2,000 cubic yards of coal ash flowed from its Sutton Plant near the Cape Fear river.
The Environmental Protection Agency called it a second offense, while the company said it is all part of the same “erosion event”.
“The release of water and ash has stopped and repaired” Brushe said.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang