Worn Out by Florence, Carolinas Could Get More Record Flooding - NBC 6 South Florida
Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence

Full coverage as Florence impacts the East Coast

Worn Out by Florence, Carolinas Could Get More Record Flooding

"It's getting a little frustrating, but you have to deal with it and roll with the punches," said one woman in a shelter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump Offers Full Support for Florence Victims: 'Nothing Will Be Left Undone'

    While visiting the areas battered by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, President Donald Trump vowed to provide the area with all the resources they need for a full recovery. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

    As rivers swollen to record levels started to recede Thursday in North Carolina, officials tried to head off potential environmental disasters and prepared for more record flooding downstream in South Carolina.

    Roads were still clogged with people trying to make it back to where the floods had creeped back, leaving silty mud on walls and floors. Crews closed some bridges and reopened others as trillions of gallons of water continued its long, meandering journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

    Potential environmental problems remained. Duke Energy issued a high-level emergency alert after floodwaters from the Cape Fear River overtopped an earthen dike and inundated a large lake at a closed power plant near Wilmington, North Carolina. The utility said it did not think any coal ash was at risk.

    State-owned utility Santee Cooper in South Carolina is placing an inflatable dam around a coal ash pond near Conway, saying the extra 2.5 feet (76 centimeters) should be enough to keep floodwaters out. Officials warned human, hog and other animal waste were mixing in with floodwaters in the Carolinas.

    Boy Gets Hug From Trump at Florence Aid Event

    [NATL] Boy Gets Hug From Trump at Florence Aid Event

    While handing out meals to Hurricane Florence victims in New Bern, North Carolina, President Donald Trump got a special request — a hug from a young boy who was helping out. Trump obliged

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion in a letter that says the flooding will be the worst disaster in the state's modern history. McMaster asked Congressional leaders to hurry federal aid. North Carolina's governor hasn't given an estimate of damage to his state.

    Among the breakdowns included in McMaster's letter is an estimated $125 million hit to South Carolina's agriculture industry. The governor noted that some of the estimates were based on damage resulting from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

    McMaster requested federal disaster-recovery funds be made available for 23 of South Carolina's 46 counties.

    Footage Shows North Carolina Dam Breach Caused by Florence

    [NATL] Florence Floodwaters Cause North Carolina Dam Breach

    Duke Energy said Friday that a dam containing a large lake at a Wilmington power plant has been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and its possible coal ash from an adjacent dump is flowing into the Cape Fear River.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 21, 2018)

    He wrote the damage from Florence in the northeastern area of the state "will be catastrophic, surpassing anything recorded in modern history."

    Florence is blamed for at least 41 deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Well over half of those killed were in vehicles.

    In North Carolina, a familiar story was unfolding as many places that flooded in Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were once again inundated.

    Pastor Floyd Benfield walked inside his Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Spring Lake now that the Little River has retreated.

    Two years ago, flooding ruined the baseboards and carpet. This year, the water broke the windows, leaving the pews a jumbled mess and soaked Bibles and hymn books on the floor.

    "This sanctuary was built in 1909, and it never flooded until Hurricane Matthew," Benfield said.

    In Wilmington, things kept creeping back closer to normal in the state's largest coastal city. Officials announced the end of a curfew and the resumption of regular trash pickup.

    But they said access to the city of 120,000 was still limited and asked people who evacuated to wait a few more days. They also warned people to not get caught off guard as rivers that briefly receded were periodically rising back.

    In South Carolina, the flood was far from over. The water appeared to stop rising in Nichols, but the town of 360 was almost entirely submerged for the second time in three years.

    Aerial Footage Shows Devastating Flooding in N.C.

    [NATL] Aerial Footage Shows Devastating Flooding in N.C.

    Aerial footage shows the extent of flooding from Hurricane Florence in Lumberton, N.C. The flooding has caused the shutdown of part of Interstate 95.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

    Jodi Pajaro owned one of the few houses in Nichols that wasn't flooded in 2016 by the Little Pee Dee and the Lumber Rivers which flow past either side of the town.

    She evacuated like the rest of the residents and tenses up each time her cellphone dings. It is frequently pictures from friends who are rescuers riding boats in town. In the last one she saw, the water was maybe an inch or two (2.5 to 5 centimeters) from her front door.

    "It doesn't look good. I am heartbroken," she wrote in a text.

    Dealing With Insurance After Florence

    [NATL] Dealing With Insurance After Florence

    Homeowners are being advised to check in with their insurance agencies to jumpstart the rebuilding process after Florence - even if they haven't returned yet. 

    (Published Monday, Sept. 17, 2018)

    The flood has been giving so much warning to Horry County, South Carolina, that officials published a detailed map of places that flooded in 2016 and warned those same places were going underwater again.

    One man had time to build a 6-foot (1.8-meter) high dirt berm around his house. Rental trucks and flatbeds whisked furniture and valuables out of homes that were still dry in Conway.

    The Waccamaw River has started its slow rise in the city of 23,000, and forecasters expect it to swell more than 3 feet (0.90 meters) above the previous record crest by Tuesday while still rising. Some areas could stay underwater for weeks, forecasters warned.

    Video Captures Waterspout Off Myrtle Beach

    [NATL] Video Captures Waterspout Off Myrtle Beach

    A bystander filmed a waterspout forming outside Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Sunday as the National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings for Horry County.

    (Published Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018)

    All that water from Nichols and Conway is heading toward Georgetown County, where five different rivers dump into the Atlantic Ocean. Officials warned more than 10 percent of the county's 61,000 residents might have to evacuate sometime next week, but called that a worst-case scenario and they couldn't give any specific forecast.

    Authorities planned to start handing out 15,000 sandbags Friday.

    "We're at the end of the line of all waters to come down," said Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway, as he warned the area may see a flood like it has never seen before.

    How Much Rain Florence May Bring

    This map shows how much rain is expected to fall within seven days. 

    Updated Sept. 17, 2018 at 5:00 a.m. EDT
    Source: NOAA/NWS/NCEP/WPC

    Duke Energy activated a high-level emergency alert at a retired coal-fired power plant in North Carolina as floodwaters from the nearby Cape Fear River overtopped an earthen dike at the facility and inundated a large lake, raising concerns of a potential breach.

    Company employees notified state regulators overnight that the 1,100-acre (445-hectare) lake at the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington was at the highest level of alert under its emergency action plan.

    The dam containing Sutton Lake appeared stable and Duke officials were monitoring it with helicopters and drones, Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said Thursday, adding that it was "an evolving situation."

    Woman Recounts Escaping Car in Florence Floods

    [NATL-DC] Woman Recounts Escaping From Car Swept Away in North Carolina Floods

    Jasmine King was rescued from the water after her car was swept away on a flooded roadway in North Carolina amid hurricane-turned-tropical-depression Florence. News4's Jim Handly reports.

    (Published Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018)

    A copy of that plan reviewed by The Associated Press defines an Emergency Level 1 event as: "Urgent! Dam failure is imminent or in progress."

    Associated Press photographer Chuck Burton and AP writers Skip Foreman, Alex Derosier and Jay Reeves contributed to this report.