Miami – The forecast for Florence has not changed, unfortunately: It’s still raining, and rivers are still rising. All roads in and out of a North Carolina city of 120,000 people are underwater.
Residents of inland communities who thought they were safe from the storm to have to find high ground because of expected flooding.
Photo: AP/Steve Helber.
So far Florence is being blamed for:
– Heavy rains: Nearly 86 cm of rain fell from Thursday through Sunday in Swansboro, on the North Carolina coast, according to the National Weather Service
– In the dark: About 575,000 outages, mostly in North Carolina
– About 15,000 people in shelters in North Carolina
– Grounded: More than 2,400 flights cancelled
– Storm losses: Mayor of New Bern, North Carolina, says his city has 30 roads still unpassable, 4,200 homes and more than 300 commercial buildings damaged, 6,000 customers without power and 1,200 residents in shelters
– Evacuations: Tens of thousands ordered out of communities along North Carolina’s steadily rising rivers, while over 2.4 million people in southern China’s Guangdong province were warned to escape Mangkhut
– To the rescue: Over 1,000 search-and-rescue personnel with 36 helicopters and over 200 boats were working in North Carolina
– Washed out: 2 U.S. government river monitoring gauges stopped transmitting after waters reached 21.5 feet (6.5 meters) and 24.2 feet (7 meters), and more gauges were expected to fail as rivers continued rising
It could be months before the number of fatalities caused by Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut to be fully known, and it’s common for these kinds of tallies to sharply escalate as officials take account of the deaths indirectly caused by a storm. Disaster experts say it’s often difficult to quickly confirm hurricane-related fatalities because of the vast regions storms can affect.