North Carolina's Florence flood disaster is growing

North Carolina's Florence flood disaster is growing

Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and SC at the centre.

Authorities say a student was struck by lightning at a south central Virginia middle school. The 22-year-old got stranded with his stalled auto in a dry patch on a service road parallel to Interstate 95, which was closed due to rising waters.

A mobile medical truck was dispatched from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Pender County, just north of Wilmington, to assist residents affected by Florence after the local hospital, Pender Memorial, was flooded and evacuated.

Authorities continue to worry about more floods, breached dams and landslides, particularly as Florence makes its way across mountainous regions.

"The next half of the tree went, hit the roof and knocked the chimney down onto my first-floor den and that knocked a hole in the roof", Wilmington resident Alex Hall said.

More than a dozen Coast Guard members from Cape Cod have traveled south to help out in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Statewide, as many as 1 million people were evacuated, The Asheville Citizen-Times reported.

"Three days of relentless rain from #Florence has resulted in significant flooding in #NC #SC", said Duke Energy, a major power supplier.

Some stream gauges used to monitor river levels failed when they became submerged, but others showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to crest at or near record levels.

Officials expect as much as a foot (30 centimeters) more as river basins absorb more water flowing into the state from North Carolina following Florence's torrential rains.

"The worst is yet to come", as river levels rise to historic levels, said Zach Taylor, an NWS meteorologist.

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Another six people have died in SC due to Florence, WSOC reported.

Flash flood warnings are in effect across a large portion of southern and western North Carolina and parts of northeast SC and southwest Virginia, according to the NWS.

Officials are planning to airlift food and water to Wilmington after the city of almost 120,000 people became cut off from the rest of North Carolina by rising flood water from Florence. In addition, WECT and WSFX also lost power to their own transmitters, so the WWAY technicians switched those stations to generator power as well.

The N.C. Department of Transportation reported Monday afternoon that I-95 North was closed between Exits 65 and 73.

Florence was causing severe weather over Virginia as it moved north, with WWBT reporting a tornado outbreak that included at least one touchdown. "If those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters", Cooper said.

Nearly 20,000 military personnel and federal workers have been deployed to help in Florence's aftermath, President Donald Trump said.

Miguel Melo was trying to drive from North Carolina to Florida to get to a friend's house when his SUV stalled out in high water in Lumberton.

With the full picture of the disaster still emerging, Moody's Analytics has estimated the cost of Hurricane Florence's damage at between $17 billion and $22 billion, making it one of the 10 most costly hurricanes in US history. Lee Reeser said they were not able to return to their home for 13 months after that storm.

About 467,000 customers were without service in North Carolina, including in the Wilmington area, which is surrounded by floodwaters and has been cut off. A few of them went on hikes and have helped clean the trails of debris from the storm.