Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Florence rain pushes into West Virginia; Heaviest precipitation expected in southeastern counties

Florence rain pushes into West Virginia; Heaviest precipitation expected in southeastern counties

The sun appeared in some areas for the first time in days, allowing some people to return home to assess damage and to reckon with the problems that develop as a result of massive floods caused by several feet of rain.

The most rain so far from Florence was 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina, a new record for a single hurricane in the state.

The storm brought up to 40 inches of rain to some parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC, according to the National Weather Service. Four people died in SC, said governor Henry McMaster.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later fled her home near New Bern.

Businesses that charge too much may have to refund customers and pay up to $5,000 for every violation.

The death toll from Florence, which came ashore in North Carolina on Friday, rose to 31 on Monday.

North Carolina emergency department officials said 23 truckloads of Meals, Ready to Eat - packaged U.S. military rations - and crates of bottled water had been sent into Wilmington.

There are shortages in food and water and the worst of the flooding is still feared as the rain continues despite it being downgraded to a tropical depression.

For many, the water is not the only hazard, but also the loss of power.

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Entire towns and cities are completely cut off by floodwaters.

Residents of the Carolinas were starting to confront the storm's after-effects, including power outages, impassable roads, and sewage spilling into flooded areas, while the hurricane's remnants headed north.

The storm's death toll climbed to 18 as authorities found the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in North Carolina after his mother drove into floodwaters and lost her grip on him while trying to get back to dry land.

"For many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate", the state's governor, Roy Cooper, told reporters on Monday. Five were killed when their vehicles lost control on flooded roads, a mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their Wilmington home and a couple perished from carbon-monoxide poisoning after using a generator inside their coastal SC home as the storm lashed the region.

The previous record was 24 inches (61 cm), set by Hurricane Floyd, which killed 56 people in 1999, said Bryce Link, a meteorologist with DTN Marine Weather, a private forecasting service.

"The agriculture industry, the largest industry in our state is hard-hit". Thom Tillis says the economic impact on the Tar Heel state will be long-lasting. Fifteen thousand meanwhile were being housed in 158 shelters across the state.

Two men pulling a kayak pick up a gas canister as they walk across a road flooded by Hurricane Florence in Pollocksville, North Carolina, on September 16, 2018.

US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz told ABC 28 aircraft had been deployed as well as 35 "shallow water rescue teams".

[Robert B. Jackson, an environmental scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina] pointed to a 1999 hurricane that flooded hog farms in North Carolina.

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