News, Weather, World News

Storm Florence leaves 12 dead as flooding sweeps East Coast of US

STORM Florence has left 12 people dead and experts have warned the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.

The deadly storm made landfall on the east coast of the US on Friday bringing with it “biblical” flooding on what’s been described as a “thousand-year rain event”.

AFP or licensors

A tree that fell on a house, killing two people – reportedly named as Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her baby Adam, in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Friday

The slow-moving storm is heading west, but on Sunday it is due to turn north towards Ohio.

Forecasters warned that rivers are swelling to record levels and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles from the North Carolina coast.

The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.

“If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your legal next of kin because the loss of life is very, very possible,” Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

He added: “The worst is yet to come.”

Twelve people have died as a result of the storm, US media say. Most of the deaths came in North Carolina.

Among the dead are mum Lesha Murphy-Johnson and her seven-month-old baby Adam, who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday.

Authorities also confirmed a 78-year-old man’s body was found outside by family after being electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

Cops say a woman in Pender County, North Carolina, died after suffering a heart attack but paramedics were unable to reach her due to blocked roads.

A 77-year-old man has also died after apparently being knocked down by the wind when he went out to check on his hunting dogs, with another two deaths confirmed in Carteret County on Saturday.

Latest footage of Hurricane Florence as severe weather leaves tens of thousands of homes without power along US East Coast
 Search and rescue workers rescue a man from the devastating  flooding

Reuters

Search and rescue workers rescue a man from the devastating  flooding
 Rescue workers, police and fire department members wait to remove the bodies of a mother and child who were killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, NC

Alamy Live News

Rescue workers, police and fire department members wait to remove the bodies of a mother and child who were killed by a falling tree as Hurricane Florence made landfall in Wilmington, NC
 Rescue workers pull a man from a house after a giant tree toppled onto it, killing two other people

Getty Images – Getty

Rescue workers pull a man from a house after a giant tree toppled onto it, killing two other people
 The Category-1 Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina

AP:Associated Press

The Category-1 Hurricane Florence has made landfall in North Carolina
 Hurricane Florence is shown from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Reuters

Hurricane Florence is shown from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
 An abandoned mini van sits on a flooded road near New Bern, NC

AFP or licensors

An abandoned mini van sits on a flooded road near New Bern, NC
 Robert Simmons Jr. and his kitten Survivor are rescued from floodwaters after Hurricane Florence dumped several inches of rain in the area overnight

AP:Associated Press

Robert Simmons Jr. and his kitten Survivor are rescued from floodwaters after Hurricane Florence dumped several inches of rain in the area overnight
 Rescue team members Sgt. Matt Locke, left, and Sgt. Nick Muhar, right, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a family

AP:Associated Press

Rescue team members Sgt. Matt Locke, left, and Sgt. Nick Muhar, right, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a family
 A rescue team from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion evacuates a family as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens their home in New Bern, NC

AP:Associated Press

A rescue team from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion evacuates a family as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens their home in New Bern, NC
 A woman in a wheelchair and attached to a respiratory system is rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the Hurricane in the town of New Bern, North Carolina

Reuters

A woman in a wheelchair and attached to a respiratory system is rescued by members of the U.S. Army during the Hurricane in the town of New Bern, North Carolina
 Leaves, branches and other debris surround and cover a sports car after Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington, North Carolina

Reuters

Leaves, branches and other debris surround and cover a sports car after Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington, North Carolina

The 400-mile-wide hurricane has already splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of up to 3ft as the 90mph storm crawls westward across North and South Carolina could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

After the raging storm hit, more than 70 people had to be rescued from a Jacksonville hotel when its roof started to collapse leaving “life-threatening” structural damage.

Firefighters – who found a basketball-sized holes in the hotel wall and roof – had to force their way into flooded rooms to get to those trapped inside.

 

 A woman holds a baby as she watches rising flood waters on the Cape Fear River during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina

AFP or licensors

A woman holds a baby as she watches rising flood waters on the Cape Fear River during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina
 Rescue workers use a truck to move people rescued from their flooded homes

Getty Images – Getty

Rescue workers use a truck to move people rescued from their flooded homes
 Residents wade through waist-high floodwaters in the deluged town of Bern

Getty Images – Getty

Residents wade through waist-high floodwaters in the deluged town of Bern
 A man sits on a park bench in a flooded park as the Cape Fear River rises above its usual height in Wilmington, North Carolina

Reuters

A man sits on a park bench in a flooded park as the Cape Fear River rises above its usual height in Wilmington, North Carolina
 Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence
Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence
 Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence
Volunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence
 Boats pushed away from the dock are seen on a street in New Bern
Boats pushed away from the dock are seen on a street in New Bern
 A man walks through flooded streets in North Carolina after the deadly storm hit

Reuters

A man walks through flooded streets in North Carolina after the deadly storm hit
 Water from the Neuse river floods houses after thousands of people evacuated the Carolinas
Water from the Neuse river floods houses after thousands of people evacuated the Carolinas

The terrified guests staying at the Triangle Motor Inn were later moved to a local hurricane safety centre to ride out the storm as parts of the ruptured hotel were sent flying through the air.

But hardest hit by the storm – described as “catastrophic” by the National Weather Service – was the besieged town of New Bern, where more than 360 pleaded for emergency crews to rescue them from the dangerous deluge.

Local officials revealed they had earlier urged residents to take shelter at the highest points of their homes, including rooftops.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and knocked out power to 900,000 homes and businesses, and the assault wasn’t anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

 Rescue workers save a woman and her dog from their flooded home in James City

Getty Images – Getty

Rescue workers save a woman and her dog from their flooded home in James City
 The terrified guests staying at the Triangle Motor Inn were moved to safety

Google Maps

The terrified guests staying at the Triangle Motor Inn were moved to safety
 A child sits on a mattress at an evacuation shelter at Conway High School, South Carolina

AFP or licensors

A child sits on a mattress at an evacuation shelter at Conway High School, South Carolina
 People are rescued by a member of the U.S. Army after floodwaters crept up
People are rescued by a member of the U.S. Army after floodwaters crept up
 Power lines are seen hanging from a post in New Bern, North Carolina
Power lines are seen hanging from a post in New Bern, North Carolina
 People wait to be rescued from a car trapped in floodwaters in North Carolina
People wait to be rescued from a car trapped in floodwaters in North Carolina
 A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued

Reuters

A family is stalled in water as they wait to be rescued
 A petrol station with its roof blown off in Wilmington, North Carolina

Reuters

A petrol station with its roof blown off in Wilmington, North Carolina
 A downed tree and water from the Neuse river are seen on a flooded street in New Bern, NC

Reuters

A downed tree and water from the Neuse river are seen on a flooded street in New Bern, NC
 Water from the Neuse river floods houses as Florence tears up the Carolinas

Reuters

Water from the Neuse river floods houses as Florence tears up the Carolinas
 A downed tree rests on a house after the deadly swarm surged through the state

Reuters

A downed tree rests on a house after the deadly swarm surged through the state
 A tree covers a car which was damaged during Hurricane Florence

Reuters

A tree covers a car which was damaged during Hurricane Florence

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper: “It’s an uninvited brute who doesn’t want to leave”, adding that Florence is a “thousand-year rain event.”

He added: “The sun rose this morning on an extremely dangerous situation and it’s getting worse.”

The hurricane was “wreaking havoc” and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its “violent grind across our state for days,” the governor said.

He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane as high as 10ft.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous told ABC News: “I see a biblical proportion flood event that’s going to occur. I see the beach communities being inundated with water and destruction that will be pretty, pretty epic in nature.”

It comes amid reports of looting in the town, as criminals seized their opportunity to break into abandoned shops and homes.

Four people were charged with breaking and entering in separate incidents, WWAY News reported.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7.15am at Wrightsville Beach.

 Deserted streets are seen as Tropical Storm Florence blows through the Carolinas

Getty Images – Getty

Deserted streets are seen as Tropical Storm Florence blows through the Carolinas
 An open South Carolina Waffle House sits deserted as the centre of Tropical Storm Florence blows through

Getty Images – Getty

An open South Carolina Waffle House sits deserted as the centre of Tropical Storm Florence blows through
 A man moves a large tree limb that downed power lines as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm Florence hit the Cherry Grove community in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

AP:Associated Press

A man moves a large tree limb that downed power lines as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm Florence hit the Cherry Grove community in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Why do violent hurricanes spawn tornadoes?

Hurricanes have all the vital ingredients needed to form tornadoes – in fact some wouldn’t happen without them.

Firstly they carry within their structure supercells – which are rotating well-organised thunderstorms.

Hurricanes also bring with them warm, moist air which causes an instability in the atmosphere.

This takes the form of a layer of warm air with slightly colder and less-moist air above it.

It becomes hugely unstable because the warm air wants to rise, since it is less dense than the cooler air.

Finally, hurricanes create abrupt changes in wind speed and direction – which form swirling air patterns, called rolls.

These vortices can then flip vertically to create their own tornadoes.

The eye of Hurricane Florence has made landfall in the US bringing merciless 90mph winds which have already left hundreds cut off.

One family told CNN how they barricaded themselves into their eastern North Carolina home as the waters steadily rose.

Annazette Riley-Cromartie held back tears describing the scene, saying: “While we were still waiting, my husband kept hearing people yelling for help.

“You just keep hearing people yelling, and you can’t do anything. It’s the worst feeling in the world.”

US President Donald Trump is expected to travel to the areas hit by Hurricane Florence next week.

 Union Point Park is flooded with rising water from the Neuse and Trent Rivers in New Bern

AP:Associated Press

Union Point Park is flooded with rising water from the Neuse and Trent Rivers in New Bern
 Tree leaves and branches are seen on the street as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern

Reuters

Tree leaves and branches are seen on the street as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern
 Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts

Reuters

Florence’s rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts

The storm will be a test of his administration – less than two months before the mid-term elections.

The delay in the travel is to ensure it would not disrupt and rescue or recovery efforts, according to the White House.

The news comes as radar images have shown a half-dozen tornadoes forming in east and south east North Carolina, the National Weather Service reported.

Florence’s forward movement during the day slowed to a crawl – sometimes it was moving no faster than a human can walk and that enabled it to pile on the rain.

 The storm has turned dozens of major roads along the coast into raging rivers

AP:Associated Press

The storm has turned dozens of major roads along the coast into raging rivers
Hurricane Helene set to swing towards Britain after Florence batters the US coastline

The town of Oriental, North Carolina, got more than 20 inches of rain just a few hours into the deluge, others got well over a foot.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

Authorities have also warned of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

 Spray-painted messages are seen on boarded up businesses ahead of the storm

Rex Features

Spray-painted messages are seen on boarded up businesses ahead of the storm
 Rising flood waters are seen in a house in Belhaven, North Carolina

Reuters

Rising flood waters are seen in a house in Belhaven, North Carolina

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

The National Hurricane Center said Florence will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

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

That’s enough to cover the entire state of Texas with nearly 4 inches of water, he calculated.

 Water from Neuse River floods houses as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina

Reuters

Water from Neuse River floods houses as Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern, North Carolina

Hurricane Florence in numbers

Giant storm: About 400 miles wide, with hurricane-force winds stretching across a 160-mile span

Heavy rains: Parts of the Carolinas could see 20 inches to 30 inches with isolated areas getting 40 inches

Storm surge: up to 13 feet (nearly 4 meters), and seawaters could push inland two miles

The intensity: Winds of 90mph below the 111mph threshold for a “major” hurricane but still very dangerous

Going dark: More than 320,000 outages, mostly in North Carolina

Populated coastline: 11 million Americans live in areas under storm watches and warnings

Grounded: Nearly 1,200 flights cancelled

Potential losses: Meteorologists estimate up to £40 BILLION in economic damages

Frenzy at North Carolina shopping centres as people stock up on food and supplies ahead of Hurricane Florence
 Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in North Carolina

AP:Associated Press

Waves from Hurricane Florence pound the Bogue Inlet Pier in North Carolina
 More than one million people have already been evacuated in North Carolina

AFP or licensors

More than one million people have already been evacuated in North Carolina
 Storm winds reached speeds of 140mph earlier this week, but peaked at around 105mph today

AP:Associated Press

Storm winds reached speeds of 140mph earlier this week, but peaked at around 105mph today
 This map sets out the Hurricane Florence evacuation zones

SCMED

This map sets out the Hurricane Florence evacuation zones
 Water from the Neuse River has risen due to the storm and flooded homes in New Bern

Reuters

Water from the Neuse River has risen due to the storm and flooded homes in New Bern

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

Traffic lights out of order because of power failures swayed in the gusty wind and roof shingles were peeled off a hotel.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 mph, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, while airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

Staggering new Nasa video filmed from ISS gives jaw-dropping view of Hurricane Florence from Space
 A US flag ripped under the intense winds being stirred up by Hurricane Florence along the coast in Cape Fear, North Carolina
A US flag ripped under the intense winds being stirred up by Hurricane Florence along the coast in Cape Fear, North Carolina
 Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting on hurricane preparations

Reuters

Donald Trump holds an Oval Office meeting on hurricane preparations
 Waves are seen coming ashore in Avon, North Carolina

Reuters

Waves are seen coming ashore in Avon, North Carolina
 Waves crash around the Oceana Pier as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence hit the US

Getty Images – Getty

Waves crash around the Oceana Pier as the outer edges of Hurricane Florence hit the US
 Locals wait in an evacuation shelter set up at the Conway High School in North Carolina

Getty Images – Getty

Locals wait in an evacuation shelter set up at the Conway High School in North Carolina
 Around one million people were evacuated from their homes before Florence made landfall

Getty Images – Getty

Around one million people were evacuated from their homes before Florence made landfall
 North Topsail Beach Police Department shared a picture of the damage already done by the storm

North Topsail Beach Police Department

North Topsail Beach Police Department shared a picture of the damage already done by the storm
 Cars drive through wet roads as rain from Hurricane Florence falls in Wilmington

AFP or licensors

Cars drive through wet roads as rain from Hurricane Florence falls in Wilmington
Donald Trump warns Americans Hurricane Florence will ‘tremendously big and tremendously wet’ as supermarket aisles are completely cleared


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

Source Link

You may also like...