Several North and South Carolina rivers continue to flood as of 22:00 (local time) on Wednesday, September 19, with several at moderate or major flood stages. Flooding from Hurricane Florence has closed hundreds of roads across the region, including portions of Interstate-95 and Interstate-40, and rising rivers could force closures of other major highways, including US-70 at Kinston (North Carolina). Officials are warning travelers to not rely on GPS navigation as roads may be flooded or closed. As of Wednesday, the storm has killed at least 37 people and 7800 people remain in shelters, with 200,000 further without power.
The following rivers are forecast to reach, or are currently in, major flood stage: Northeast Cape Fear River (Burgaw, NC), Cape Fear River (William O'Huske Lock near Fayetteville, NC and Kelly, NC), Lumber River (Lumberton, NC), Waccamaw River (Conway, SC), Great Pee Dee River (Pee Dee, SC), Little Pee Dee River (Galivants Ferry, SC), and Lynches River (Effingham, SC). The Waccamaw at Conway is expected to begin rising again beginning Thursday, September 20 and crest on September 26, which may flood the US-501 bypass.
Florence hit southern North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane on the morning of Friday, September 14, bringing winds of up to 144 km/h (90 mph), up to 91 cm (35.9 in) of rain in some places, and storm surges as high as 3 m (10 ft). The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate heavy flooding and transportation, logistics, and power disruptions, monitor road closure reports, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities. 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 and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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