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NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) — As the death toll from Florence mounted and hundreds of people were pulled from flooded homes, North Carolina is bracing for what could be the next stage of a still-unfolding disaster: widespread, catastrophic river flooding.
After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 mph (145 kph) winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore. Storm surges, flash floods and winds scattered destruction widely and the Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to conduct rescues Saturday.
The article goes on to state the following:
Rivers are swelling toward record levels, forecasters now warn, and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.
Stream gauges across the region showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to crest Sunday and Monday at or near record levels: The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to burst their banks, possibly flooding nearby communities.
Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile (1.6 kilometers) of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the North Carolina coast. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.
NBC Miami reports:
The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to at least 14, including an infant.
The dead in North Carolina included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington and two men in their late 70s who were hurt while outside in the wind and rain in Lenoir County. A woman died in Pender County after suffering a medical condition and large trees blocked roads to her home, a spokeswoman for the county confirmed to NBC News.
Three more people died “due to flash flooding and swift water on roadways,” sheriff’s officials in Duplin County said Saturday in a Facebook post, without giving more details.
An 81-year-old man died while trying to evacuate Wayne County on Friday and a husband and wife were killed the same day in a Fayetteville house fire, according to the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
South Carolina recorded its first death from the storm when officials said a 61-year-old woman was killed when her car hit a tree that had fallen across a highway. State officials confirmed in a tweet Saturday night that a Horry County couple died due to carbon monoxide poisoning, bringing the death toll in the state to three.
Florence’s death toll continues to rise with at least 14 people dead. North Carolina’s governor is flying over the state to survey the damage today. @craigmelvin reports from the Cape Fear River. pic.twitter.com/lv6zPQDZ4o
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 16, 2018
Wow. Hurricane Florence flooding cut a road in half in Mount Olive, NC — and a look at just how high the water has gotten.
(Brett Adair & Brandon Clement/LSM) pic.twitter.com/mofngRaMTr
— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) September 15, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 16, 2018
Say it ain’t so, Flo 🙄
Latest ECMWF ensemble guidance takes the remnants of #Florence northward and then many members loop it back into the West Atlantic … a warm water / low shear environment.
Let’s hope not! pic.twitter.com/PU6mupK9WP
— Ben Noll (@BenNollWeather) September 16, 2018
Storm Florence: Worst still to come, authorities warn https://t.co/xTZ14CRjPB
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 16, 2018
Florence weakened to a tropical depression overnight but flooding is expected to continue over significant portions of the Carolinas. The death toll climbed to at least 14, including an infant.
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) September 16, 2018
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) September 16, 2018
— Marc Johnson (@marcjohnson0002) September 16, 2018
Florence is blamed for at least 14 deaths https://t.co/hUmjP9Lwes
— Julie Luck | WFMY ✌🏼️ (@julie_luck) September 16, 2018
Members of the Nebraska Task Force 1 urban search and rescue team help Korean war veteran Roman Wiggs, 87, to a bus while evacuating an assisted living facility as a precaution against potential flooding the city could see from Florence in Fayetteville, N.C. pic.twitter.com/oRN0xpveH4
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 16, 2018
Duke Energy says a slope has collapsed under Florence’s heavy rains at a coal ash landfill at a closed North Carolina power station. https://t.co/ufErPWZEzv
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 16, 2018
There are about four thousand hog farm manure “lagoons” across North Carolina, many near the coast. Many area environmentalists are deeply concerned about floodwaters from Hurricane Florence causing these pools of excrement to overflow. https://t.co/tkGn5JCbYK
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) September 16, 2018
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