South Carolina communities race to beat dangerous flooding

22 September, 2018, 14:49 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • A Sanderson Farms facility in Lumberton N.C

After submerging North Carolina with almost 3 feet (1 meter) of rain, the storm dumped more than 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters) of rain in the Northeast, where it caused flash flooding. More water vapor means more rain, especially when the storm is a crawler like Florence, which slowed to about 2 miles per hour (1.6 km per hour) after slamming into the North Carolina coast.

Entire communities, including housing developments, shopping centers, farms, forests and roads, are completely engulfed by water.

It moved slowly over the affected region, bringing two days of heavy rain, bringing non-stop flooding caused by storm surges and rivers bursting their banks.

Hurricane Florence was the worst flooding event in East Coast history, according to some reports. Blackhawk helicopters were used to pluck many of them to safety.

In some areas, it will by days or weeks before the floodwaters fully recede and the landscape returns to normal. It soon became clear that they were needed.

"Please heed the warnings", Sheriff Lane Cribb said.

Authorities have said 23 out of the 46 counties in SC could potentially be impacted by flooding.

McMaster estimates the storm recovery will cost about $1.2 billion, according to the letter he sent to the state's congressional delegation.




In North Carolina, where about 100 people were evacuated by boat and air after the Cape Fear River breached a levee and flooded the town of Kelly on Thursday night, a familiar story was unfolding as many places that flooded in Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were once again inundated.

"We can attribute that additional rainfall to human-induced climate change", said Kevin Reed, a professor at Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, who contributed to the study.

Much of Columbus County, where Fair Bluff is located, was under water, according to Steve Abbott of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, with most roads closed and "driving not advised".

"We continue to feel the effects of this massive storm", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Tuesday.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said Thursday that Duke Energy's LV Sutton Plant in Wilmington was at the highest level of alert under the company's emergency action plan.

One major concern is the Cape Fear River near Fayetteville, which has quadrupled in depth, and it's only going to get worse. According to the National Weather Service, nearly 36 inches (91 centimeters) of rain fell over the city that lies along alongside the Cape Fear River. Preliminary estimates say the storm did $22 billion in damage across the region, which would put Florence among the top 10 costliest storms in USA history. Duke reported a second concerning incident involving a coal ash landfill at the site in the aftermath of Florence. And they're my friends and they have gone through the tough stuff.

Cooper warned residents that the rain may have subsided, but the flooding danger is far from over.

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