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World

REUTERS
September 16, 2018
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Flood waters rise as Florence pummels Carolinas; at least 8 dead

World

REUTERS
Sun, Sep, 18

WILSON, N.C: Tropical Storm Florence dumped “epic” amounts of rain on North and South Carolina as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.

Florence’s intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane. But its slow march over the two states, crawling west at only 2 miles per hour (3 km per hour), is expected to leave large parts of the region deluged in the coming days.

“This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news briefing. His state has already endured record rainfall, with much more forecast to come. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.

“This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

With flood waters advancing rapidly in many communities, stranded people were being rescued by boat and by helicopter, while tens of thousands of others hunkered down in shelters. Numerous roads were closed, and authorities warned of the risk of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity. As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in South Carolina.

Helicopter crews have carried out dozens of missions in coastal North Carolina and helped in the rescue of 50 people and eight pets, said Petty Officer Michael Himes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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