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Florence floods slowly envelops South Carolina houses

FILE – In this Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 file photo, water of Hurricane Florence surrounds homes in Dillon, S. C. Scientists say that climate change is likely enhanced precipitation totals for both Florence and 2017 is Harvey. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

GEORGETOWN, S. C. – A week ago, firefighters in Conway went to a neighborhood and told the surprised residents, their houses would flood from the Hurricane Florence, even though they had never had the water in.

On Monday and Tuesday, the same fire department checked on the same areas with detailed maps of each of the nearly 1,000 homes that could expect to be flooded.

“It is a kind of play exactly as we forecast,” Conway Fire Chief Le Hendrick said.

Twelve days after the violent hurricane arrived at the coast, and more than a week after it blew north and drained, swollen rivers by its relentless rain still flooding homes and businesses in their paths as they make their way to the sea.

The slow ramp is allowed forecasters to find out who exactly will flood. There are a few rescues or surprises in South Carolina — only in the black, reeking water slowly seeps in and even more slowly withdraws.

“You find yourself around a lot and thought, ‘What if’, or, ‘I wonder what things are like now,'” said Vivian Fox, who at her home in Conway a week ago and can’t get back until well into October. “And wondering what you are going to find when you finally get back.”

The Waccamaw River, which flows through the town of 23,000, it was expected to crest on Wednesday at 21.7 feet (6.6 meters). It surpassed the previous record of 17.9 feet (5.5 metres) is located in 2016 by the Storm Matthew on Friday.

The waterway was not considered to fall under the 18 foot (5.5 metres) or sometime next week. The river floods in the 11 feet (3.4 meters).

All that water is the way to Georgetown, where five different rivers reach the sea. Officials there said that the worst consequences of the floods would begin on Wednesday and lasts until Thursday, probably leaving only a highway in the city.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, more was the formation of the coast in a hurricane season that still has two months to go. National Hurricane Center forecasters watching a low pressure area about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina said that it could grow into a tropical depression as it approaches the coast before moving quickly to the north.

While it will probably dump some extra rain on the Florence-battered city of Wilmington, it was not expected to be significant enough to worsen the flooding.

“It should not make much of a dent in the rivers,” said Reid Hawkins, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Wilmington.

The officials of the South Carolina state-owned utility were still distrustful control of two coal-ash ponds in the neighbourhood of Conway. Santee Cooper officials said floodwater of the Waccamaw River in a pond, but most of the shaft had already been removed from it during a previous cleanup project.

The river is likely to flood from the second pond quickly, but the utility promised that it has taken measures to reduce the environmental impact, such as installing silt fencing and a driving environment, the containment tree.

Not far from the ash-ponds, engineers keep an eye on U.S. Highway 501, the main link to Myrtle Beach. The Water is now touching a temporary barrier of sand and plastic, that is formed to prevent water off the bridge. Called the Lifeline, the temporary wall will remain in force if the water does not rise more than an additional 5 feet (1.5 meters) of the current level, according to the state Department of Transportation.

In North Carolina the rivers have stopped rising, but the recovery process is really just the beginning. In rural Jones County, between Kinston and New Bern, two of the county’s six schools will have to be demolished after the water left mold and mildew in their wake, School Superintendent Michael Bracy said..

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Associated Press writers Jonathan Drew, Gary D. Robertson and Alex Derosier in Raleigh; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; and AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.

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