Florence death toll jumps to 31 as flooding wreaks havoc

2018-09-18 10:04

Rain-gorged rivers threatened further flooding on the storm-battered US East Coast on Monday as the death toll from Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression, jumped to 31.

Emergency management authorities in North Carolina said an earlier toll of 17 had risen to 25 since Florence made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane, with its aftermath threatening further flooding as well as potential dam failures and landslides.

Six deaths have been confirmed in neighbouring South Carolina, with the latest being the driver of a pickup truck who drove into standing water in Lexington County.

"River flooding is dynamic and it's happening all over our state," North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters.

"This is an epic storm that is still continuing," Cooper said. "This is a monumental disaster for our state."

Major flood stage

In Virginia, near state capital Richmond, emergency services said one man died after a building collapsed during severe weather, though it was not clear if that death was directly linked to Florence.

More than a dozen rivers across North Carolina were at major flood stage on Monday or threatening to rise to critical levels.

"Many roads in our state are still at risk of floods," Cooper said, warning people who have been evacuated not to return home yet and others not to go out if they do not need to.

"Please don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued," he said.

Wilmington, on the banks of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, was almost completely cut off by land but emergency management teams managed to truck food and water overnight into the port city of 120 000 people.

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

And a wave of solidarity rippled through hard-hit New Bern, where hundreds of people lined up as a local supermarket distributed fried chicken and hamburgers.

"This community, the most marginalised and economically deprived in town, has been hit the worst. They are still is without power," said Braden Welsh, one of those behind the initiative.

"We wanted to pump their spirit up."

Local artist Kevin Bryant praised the effort, saying "it's good to get some support".

"I lost everything in the flooding," he said. "We didn't think it would be that bad. It happened so fast."

The National Weather Service released rainfall totals as of 14:00 (18:00 GMT) for parts of North Carolina. The largest amount so far was in Elizabethtown, which has received 91cm.

The most rainfall recorded in South Carolina was in the town of Loris, where 60cm fell.

More than 300 people remained on Monday at a shelter on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Raleigh, the state capital which escaped the brunt of the storm.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    us  |  floods

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.