Florence weakened to a tropical depression, but flood threat remains serious



Flooding: Why Tropical Storm Florence is still dangerous

Although Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Tropical Storm Florence, it is still dangerous due to its slow pace that is caused by heavy rainfall and severe flooding.

Tropical Storm Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday, but the large parts of North and South Carolina were expected to remain vulnerable to floods and river flooding, forecasters said.

The further downgrading of a powerful hurricane a few days ago came in a 5 a.m. ET Sunday advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

With the update of the NHC also announced that there is a tropical storm warning extends from South Santee River, S. C., to Surf City, N. C., had stopped, and that there are no coastal watches or warnings remained in effect.

On Saturday, officials in South Carolina confirmed that the state’s first fatality of Florence, making the region-wide death toll from the storm at least 11 — the News & Observer in Raleigh, N. C., was reporting at least 14 dead.

The police said a 62-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving hit a tree had fallen across the Highway 18 near the city of the Union.

Jim Kelly Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the woman, who is wearing a belt, died at the scene and no passengers in the car at the time.

A mother and her 8-month-old child were one of the first confirmed dead after a huge tree crushed their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday.

Another man, 81, died Friday during an attempt to evacuate, Wayne County, North Carolina, and a man and a woman were killed in a house fire, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Lenoir County spokesman Bryan Hanks said a 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords to a generator, and that another man, 77, died after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown away.

The emergency services, police and fire brigade members to wait until the removal of the bodies of a mother and child who were killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, N. C. Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. The father was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. (Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer via AP)

(The News & Observer ©2018)

Duplin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed three deaths as a result of a “flash flooding and swift water on the roads.”

The authorities in North Carolina have confirmed 10 dead so far. Early Saturday, the state tally of the period, when officials initially counted, deducted, two deaths are now thought to have been the result of a murder-suicide during the storm. That case is under examination.

Mandatory evacuations were issued for the area around the banks of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center said on Saturday afternoon that “catastrophic flooding” is expected in some parts of the Carolinas.


Florence parked itself over the Carolinas on Saturday, bringing with it torrential downpours, dangerous winds and flooding that required hundreds of water rescues and ended in multiple deaths.

“It’s like being stalked by a turtle,” FEMA associate director Jeffrey Byard said about the slow storm. “There is a lot of rain to come. There is a lot of rain that has fallen.”

Emergency workers go door-to-door in North Carolina, and begged the people who have chosen to ride out the storm to leave.

“I can’t overdo it: Water is rising, and if you’re not watching for them, you are risking your life,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday.

More than 2 feet of rain in the course of 24 hours has fallen in a number of places in North Carolina, with forecasters calling for an additional 1½ feet by the end of the weekend. The fear is that flooding could devastate communities in danger of draughts and the blocking of bridges. The storm also knocked out power to nearly a million people.


Aerial photos along the coast in the vicinity of New Bern showed houses floating in water, and rescuers race to reach the people who were locked in.

Cooper called Florence a “uninvited ” brute” that could wipe out entire communities if he spins his way across country.

“The fact is, this storm is deadly and we know that we are days away from the end,” he said.


Since Thursday, more than 360 people have been transported to higher ground amid rising waters of a river and is covered by both the rain and the salty storm surge.

New Bern, North Carolina Mayor Dana Outlaw also urged the residents not to return just yet.

“We have a lot of downed power lines,” he told Fox News. “We are very concerned with these energy lines and people could get hurt. So give the city the time to get out and the review of our infrastructure and the roads safe for you to travel.”

Shocked after seeing the waves on the Neuse River just outside his home in New Bern, owner of a restaurant and the hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

“I feel like the dumbest man who ever walked the face of the earth,” he said.

Since the roared ashore, Florence flattened, trees, buckled buildings and crumpled roads. Storm surges — the bulge of the ocean water on the shore, pushed by the hurricane — were as high as 10 metres.


Florence peaked at a Category 4 with winds top of 140 km / h over warm ocean waters before making landfall as a Category 1. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, empty-out of the piece of the coast.

By midmorning Saturday, Florence lui and shoved her way about 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at 2 mph – slower than most people walk.

“It’s like being stalked by a turtle,” FEMA associate director Jeffrey Byard said about the slow storm. “There is a lot of rain to come. There is a lot of rain that has fallen.”

South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice described the storm to Fox News as a “slow poison.”

Florence, destruction has less to do with wind and more to do with water.

Morehead City (North Carolina) had received 23 inches of rain on Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more.


Sometimes, Florence was moving forward no faster than a man can walk, and it has remained as a major storm, that its against the clock winds keep scooping up huge amounts of moisture from the sea. The flooding began on the barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread to the coast and the river communities and in South Carolina, swamping the white beaches and the golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.

For the people who live in the interior in the Carolina’s, maximum danger could come days later when all that water drains, flooding of rivers and causes floods.

The authorities warned also of the risks of mudslides, and environmental disasters from water washing over industrial waste sites and farms.

About 9,700 National Guard soldiers and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

Florence can be an important test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared last year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was nearly 3,000.

The hurricane center said the storm will eventually break down over the southern Appalachian mountains and make a right angle to the northeast, rainy remnants move in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue, of it has been calculated that Florence could dump up to 18 billion litres of rain a week in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland. That is enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or the entire state of Texas with nearly 4 inches of water.


North Carolina, only is the weather to get 9.6 trillion liters, enough to the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, fire and police fought wind and rain, as they went from door to door to pull more than 60 people from the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble.

In New Bern, population of 29,000, flood on the Neuse River on the left 500 people in danger.

Ashley Warren and friend, Chris Smith, managed to paddle near their house in a boat with their two dogs and were left shaken.

“To be honest, I grew up in Wilmington. I love hurricanes. But this is an experience for me,” she said. “We can leave.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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