Thursday, 18 October, 2018

44 dead as Florence-weary Carolinas face more flooding and rising rivers

Coast Guard crews discuss tactics prior to conducting rescue operations in response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina Sunday Sept. 16 2018. The Coast Guard is working with state and local agencies throughout the affected region. Image USCG Florence: Two patients dead after van swept away in floods
Eleanor Moreno | 22 September, 2018, 14:49

The river isn't expected to crest until early next week, and could reach three feet above record stage.

"As defenders of the state's rivers, lakes and streams, we're committed to documenting conditions and alerting the public to threats to public health and environmental quality stemming from Hurricane Florence".

The Cape Fear River at Fayetteville crested at 61.5 feet on Wednesday, 4 feet higher than during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, while Interstate 40 flooding cut off Wilmington.

Remnants of Hurricane Florence continue to threaten the east coast with torrential rain and flood risks. Forecasters expect the Waccamaw to swell almost a metre above the previous record crest by early next week.

Less than a week since Florence made landfall, a huge part of North Carolina remains deluged. The statement says a 46-year-old man in Brunswick County died when a tree he was cutting fell on him. Well over half the dead were killed were in vehicles.

More than 5 million gallons (18 million liters) of partially treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

While some roads are not flooded, they may have damage and hazardous debris that makes it unsafe to drive or walk on them, state officials said.

She said the company can not rule out that ash may be escaping and flowing into the river.

Cenospheres are lightweight, hollow beads comprised of alumni and silica that are a byproduct of coal combustion, according to the company.

The ash left over from coal burned to generate electricity contains an array of chemicals, including mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxic heavy metals.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated his state has already suffered $1.2 billion in damage.


North Carolina's hog and other concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, produce nearly 10 billion gallons of fecal waste a year, according to the Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance.

"To the approximately 10,000 people staying in our shelters and the countless more who are staying with friends and families or in hotels, I know it was hard to leave home and it's even harder to wait", Cooper said. They also warned people to not get caught off guard as rivers that briefly receded were periodically rising back.

The storm will continue to sweep through southern New York, Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey.

"We will likely have lost more chickens than anything else", Jimmy Dixon, a state representative and former turkey farmer, said after touring eastern parts of the state by helicopter Tuesday. Both became major hurricanes over the central Atlantic hundreds of miles north of the Caribbean, and both weakened as they neared the Carolina coast.

Some 650 roads remained closed, the state's department of transportation said, warning motorists not to travel in 17 southeastern counties worst-hit by Florence. Some of them have been washed out entirely.

That's twice as many people as were saved after Hurricane Matthew.

Two years ago, flooding ruined the baseboards and carpet. Soaked Bibles and hymn books were scattered on the floor. "You better pray. I think we all need to pray that it don't happen".

"We understand that a lot of them are losing their houses", said Sgt. Derek Vollmer of St. Cloud, another crew member, adding those rescued "seemed very thankful".

The L.V. Sutton Complex operated by Duke Energy in Wilmington, N.C., is shown in a 2014 file photo.

"The water was right above my floors".

The Little Pee Dee has crested in some regions at over 46ft (14m) and its flooding has impacted town water supplies, officials say.

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