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15 Sep 2018 | 09:42 AM UTC

US: Florence moves southwest Sep. 15 as record flooding expected in Carolinas /update 6

United States of America News Alert

Florence, now a tropical storm, kills five people in North Carolina as of September 15; heavy rain and widespread flooding expected to continue

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/15/2018, 12:00 AM until 9/19/2018, 11:59 PM (America/New_York). COUNTRY/REGION North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky

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Florence continues to drop considerable amounts of rain on North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, as it slowly moves southwest on Saturday, September 15. Continued rain is expected to produce widespread flooding, particularly along the states' waterways. Southern and central North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina are expected to receive an additional 25-38 cm (10-15) in of rain from 05:00 (local time), bringing storm totals to 76-100 cm (30-40 in). Other areas, including western North Carolina, northern South Carolina, and southwest Virginia are still forecast to receive 12.5-25 cm (5-10 in) of rain. Isolated amounts may be higher; as of 00:00 on Saturday, Newport (North Carolina) recorded a total of 60 cm (24 in) of rain.

The heavy rain is forecast to cause extensive flooding, particularly on waterways in the Carolinas. Record flooding is already recorded on the Cape Fear River near Wilmington and water levels are expected to rise. In Fayetteville, the Cape Fear River is expected to rise from a pre-storm level of 3.6 m (12 ft) to 19 m (62 ft). Flooding of the surrounding areas will begin at 10.5 m (35 ft). The Neuse River is Kingston is forecast to reach 1.8 m (6 ft) above major flood stage and will rise 3.2 m (10.5 ft) above flood stage in Goldsboro. Flooding along other waterways is expected to continue for several days. Storm surge flooding is also a threat for the coast, with warnings issued from Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) to Ocracoke Island (North Carolina) and the Pamlico Sound. A potential of 0.6-1.5 m (2-5 ft) above high tide, which will occur in the early afternoon, is predicted for this area.

The storm is forecast to move westward, toward the Appalachian Mountains on Sunday, September 16, bringing a chance of mudslides, before curving northeast and following the mountain range toward New England. Florence, now downgraded to a tropical depression, is located 55 km (35 mi) west of Myrtle Beach as of 05:00 and is producing sustained winds of 80 km/h (55 mph). The storm has killed at least five people in North Carolina as of Saturday morning, primarily from wind damage, and caused power outages for at least 890,000 people.


Florence hit southern North Carolina on the morning of Friday, September 14, bringing winds of up to 144 km/h (90 mph) and storm surges as high as 3 m (10 ft). As of Friday afternoon, Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, with winds having weakened to 120 km/h (75 mph). The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.


Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (including evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.


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