Thursday, December 8, 2022

Florence heads inland, ‘major to record’ flooding endangers North Carolina residents

A truck drives through a flooded section of River Road near the Cape Fear River, Saturday, Sept.15, 2018. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)
A truck drives through a flooded section of River Road near the Cape Fear River, Saturday, Sept.15, 2018. (Port City Daily photo | Mark Darrough)

Editor’s note: Our sister publication, Port City Daily, is in Wilmington, North Carolina. Here is their report on how the area is handling the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Near constant rain since Florence’s arrival on the coast have proved to be as dangerous — if not more dangerous — than the hurricane-force winds, causing record-breaking flooding in the area of Wilmington.

While remnants of Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression, are moving faster now, even at about 8 mph the storm is still drenching the Carolinas, causing rivers and tidal creeks to overflow, swamping roads and flooding entire subdivisions.

The National Weather Service continues to warn of life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding. (You can read the latest briefing here.)

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is advising residents to avoid contact with flood waters, as they can carry water-borne diseases. The Cape Fear River, which overflowed its banks Saturday, has also been contaminated by a massive 5-million-gallon wastewater spill.

RELATED STORY: Florence’s devastation in photos, video, stories: Here’s coverage on the ground in Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington-area officials have told residents who remained behind to weather the storm to stay off the roads. Local emergency response teams report downed wires, sinkholes and deceptively deep water on numerous roadways.

Florence has killed more than a dozen people, including a mother and child killed in downtown Wilmington by a falling tree.

Those who evacuated are being told that extreme flooding may prevent safe re-entry for a matter of weeks, not days. Duke Energy reports power has been restored to some areas, but hundreds of thousands are still in the dark.

Follow the coverage: Live Blog: The heart of Hurricane Florence

Most major grocery chains and superstores remain closed due to the power outage, but at least nine Harris Teeter grocery stores in the Wilmington area opened Sunday morning.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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