Now a tropical depression, Florence continues to bring flood and landslide risk to the East Coast
Updated Sept. 19, 8 a.m.
Downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical depression, Florence has claimed the lives of at least 37 people and continues to bring heavy rainfall. As of the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 19, Florence is slowly moving northeast where tornadoes associated with the storm hit Virginia. Charlotte, N.C., is expected to see significant rainfall and flash flooding as the storm continues, according to The New York Times. As the storm moves, Florence brings an elevated risk of mud and landslides in the mountains of North Carolina.
Approximately 532,338 customers in North Carolina and 61,000 in South Carolina were without power following the storm. Federal and state agencies completed at least 1,000 swift water rescues in North Carolina, as reported by CNN. In Wilmington, N.C., the city is isolated by flooded roadways as food and water supplies dwindle.
“Catastrophic and historic river flooding will continue for days across portions of the Carolinas,” the National Weather Service said.
In New Bern, N.C., Florence has damaged 4,200 homes and more than 300 commercial buildings, forcing 1,200 residents into shelters, as reported by USA today. By the time the storm concludes, southeastern North Carolina and the northeastern tip of south Carolina is expected to receive up to 40 in. of rainfall, while other parts of the Carolinas are expected to get up to 20 in. of rain. As the heavy rains continue, flash flooding and landslides remain a risk. Additionally, dam failure remains a concern as the Cape Fear River near Fayetteville, N.C., is expected to crest Wednesday, Sept. 18 at approximately 62 ft.
Eight deaths have been reported in South Carolina, 27 in North Carolina and two in Virginia, as of the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 19 according to CBS News. Many fatalities occurred due to fallen trees and driving in floodwaters.