At last check, at least 18 people are dead from Florence. And while the storm is now a tropical depression, it’s still bringing heavy rain to the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Officials say ten of those killed were in North Carolina, while at least six died in South Carolina.
Now that the worst of the winds and storm surge are past, flooding is the main concern. Officials are warning of possibly historic flooding in North and South Carolina as heavy rain continues to fill rivers to their brims – with some expected to crest later in the week.
Floodwaters from Florence are cutting off the city of Wilmington from the rest of North Carolina. Torrential rain flooded roadways, making it virtually impossible to leave or go into the city. Power has been out for most of the city the entire weekend. North Carolina's Director of Emergency Management Michael Sprayberry said the flooding is already bad, but it's only going to continue to get worse in the coming days – and calls the sheer amount of water “historic.”
- Meanwhile, police in Wilmington, North Carolina say they've arrested five people for looting as Tropical Storm Florence brought flooding and chaos to the region. The five were arrested Saturday night for allegedly breaking into a Dollar General earlier in the day. The incident was caught on video and city officials have issued a curfew in the area in response. The identity of the five hasn't been released.
- On a related note, the volunteer group known as the Cajun Navycontinues to make rescues across areas of North Carolina. The group sent hundreds of volunteers with their own boats up from Texas and Louisiana ahead of the storm and was reportedly rescuing hundreds of people trapped by floodwaters overnight. Emergency crews were also working around the clock. But the volunteers aren't just recusing people. They managed to save more than a hundred dogs and cats from a rapidly flooding animal shelter in Newport Friday night.
Source: CBS News