Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

James Marshall
September 17, 2018

More than 760,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state, AFP reported.

"We are saddened by the sudden passing of one of our community, and our hearts go out to the family and friends who are now grieving during such an already stressful period", Amanda Hutcheson, the Brunswick County Government public information officer wrote in an email.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving west at 2 mph (3.2 kph), with its center located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Two people were killed in Lenoir County, according to Emergency Services Director Roger Dail during the storm. A 61-year-old woman died Friday night when her vehicle struck a tree that fell during the storm, state emergency officials said.

The father was also in the house and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment after the incident.

SC also has a new record for rainfall in a single tropical system. When they got to the home, the woman was dead, authorities said.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons (68 trillion liters) of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maryland.

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning. Its winds were down to 45 miles per hour (75 kph).

Anxiety also reigned Saturday in Lumberton, a North Carolina city that was submerged for days after 2016's Hurricane Matthew.

JAMES CITY, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Volunteer Amber Hersel from the Civilian Crisis Response Team helps rescue 7-year-old Keiyana Cromartie and her family from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, United States.

Woman dies after crashing into fallen tree in S.C.

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In North Carolina, at least five deaths are related to the storm - but "several others are under investigation", Cooper said.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared a year ago for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the death toll was put at almost 3,000.

Those who stayed behind gave harrowing accounts of getting trapped in their homes surrounded by water. More than 360 people have been carried to safety since Thursday night amid rising waters from a river swelled by both rain and salty storm surge. Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.

"It's just unfortunate that people look for these opportunities to prey on the vulnerabilities of these people when the situation is at its worst", he said. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.

"Moving them inland to larger facilities that have less chance of being affected by adverse weather conditions was one of our priorities", Higgins said. With Florence, it'll be the same amount of rainfall in three days.

Parts of West-central Virginia and far eastern West Virginia will see "life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, along with an elevated risk for landslides", according to the agency. Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extratropical low with gale-force winds.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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