Hurricane death toll rises as deadly floods loom
As the death toll from hurricane Florence mounted and hundreds of people were pulled from flooded homes, North Carolina was bracing for what could be the next stage of a still unfolding disaster — widespread, catastrophic river flooding.
After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 145km/h winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore. Storm surges, flash floods and winds scattered destruction widely and US Marines, Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to carry out rescues on Saturday.
The death toll from the hurricane, which turned into a tropical storm, stood at 11 yesterday. The dead included a mother and her baby killed by a falling tree in Wilmington, North Carolina.
South Carolina recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her car hit a tree that fell across a highway. Three died in one inland county, Duplin, because of water on roads and flash floods, authorities said.
A man and his wife died in a storm-linked house fire, officials said, and an 81-year-old man died after falling while packing to evacuate.
Rivers are swelling towards record levels, forecasters warn, and thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive flooding in North Carolina history.
Stream gauges across the region showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts that rivers will crest by today at or near record levels.
Police officers carry a girl out of a collapsed school in Hong Kong as typhoon Mangkhut hits.