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The Latest Menace for the Carolinas: Rising Flood Waters
Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 1 storm
16 September 2018, 03:28 | Justin Tyler
Hurricane Florence from above: Startling images of the huge storm from the International Space Station
In this September 12, 2018 photo provided by NASA, Hurricane Florence churns over the Atlantic Ocean heading for the USA east coast as seen from the International Space Station.
Staff from across all corners of state government, and some federal officials, have been working at the Emergency Operations Center for 24-hours-a day since Monday.
"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.
Florence is now a Category 1 storm with a 10-foot storm surge, according to the National Weather Service. Act fast, he said, and have faith. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, and a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, authorities said.
"I just don't want to leave and take a chance and not be able to get back in", Green said.
The coming weeks will test whether or not that is true.
About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, jamming westbound roads and highways for miles.
Days of intense rainfall could dump more than three feet of rain on the Carolinas, as the storm stalls when it reaches the coast.
After landfall, the storm is expected to linger over the area for a few days, which would result in rising river levels and lakes. In the parking lot, cars were jammed wherever they could, some parked between medians and blocked pedestrian crossing paths. But even much lower flood levels can be risky and reach surprisingly far inland, as The Weather Channel demonstrated in a stunning video released today. Just to the left of the screen, a darkened doorway leads to the "command room" where the director and his staff meet.
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.
The impact of Florence will be widespread, with destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, unsafe surf, torrential rainfall, flooding and the potential for tornadoes.
We're not the only ones who noticed. Storm surge invades rivers and estuaries, too. Helicopters had been positioned across the border in Tennessee. We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue. "The larger and the slower the storm is, the greater the threat and the impact - and we have that". As the recovery from past storms continues in many rural towns, the next storm is about to strike. Leaders of the states in the path of the storm have warned people all week to evacuate the most susceptible areas. Both of those numbers were expected to rise. "Once these winds start blowing at that tropical-storm rate, it will be virtually impossible for the rescuers to get in to rescue you".
"Do not relax, do not get complacent". As The Weather Channel noted, storm surges of nine feet or higher could be catastrophic, powerful enough to move cars and cover the first floor of buildings.
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