Florence turns deadly, trig­gers flash flood emer­gen­cies

Five deaths linked to the East Coast storm; US Pres­i­dent de­clares dis­as­ter

Mid Day - - WORLD - No. of peo­ple still wait­ing to be res­cued

A woman and her baby were killed when a tree fell on their house and sev­eral more storm-re­lated deaths were re­ported on Fri­day as Hur­ri­cane Florence slammed into the Caroli­nas, dous­ing the east­ern US states with tor­ren­tial rain and caus­ing rivers to burst their banks.

Five deaths were con­firmed by of­fi­cials as US me­dia re­ported another.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple needed to be res­cued af­ter be­com­ing trapped in their homes by a storm surge of up to 10 feet in New Bern, a town in North Carolina at the con­flu­ence of the Trent and Neuse rivers.

As of 8 pm (0000 GMT), Florence was down­graded to a trop­i­cal storm by the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter (NHC), but au­thor­i­ties warned the dan­ger was far from over, pre­dict­ing “life-threat­en­ing storm surges and strong winds” would per­sist through the night.

“We are ex­pect­ing sev­eral more days of rain,” North Carolina Gover­nor Roy Cooper said, de­scrib­ing the amount of rain­fall from the hur­ri­cane as a “1,000-year event.” “Into next week our rivers are go­ing to con­tinue to rise and there will be more sig­nif­i­cant flood­ing,” Cooper said.

There had been five con­firmed deaths from the storm and sev­eral oth­ers were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated to de­ter­mine if they were storm-re­lated, he said. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties re­ported a death in Pen­der County when downed trees pre­vented emer­gency units from reach­ing a woman with a med­i­cal con­di­tion. Lo­cal me­dia said she had suf­fered a heart at­tack.

“This storm is go­ing to con­tinue its vi­o­lent grind across our state for days,” Cooper said. “The storm is wreak­ing havoc on our state.” More than 7,60,000 cus­tomers in North Carolina were with­out power and 21,000 peo­ple were be­ing housed in 157 shel­ters across the state.

The White House said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was to visit hur­ri­cane-hit ar­eas next week “once it is de­ter­mined his travel will not dis­rupt any res­cue or re­cov­ery ef­forts.”

Max­i­mum sus­tained winds had weak­ened to 70 miles per hour, but the NHC warned Carolina res­i­dents to be alert for life-threat­en­ing storm surges and “cat­a­strophic fresh­wa­ter flood­ing.” “Flash flood­ing will be ex­treme and flood wa­ters will come up quickly and seem­ingly out of nowhere,” the gover­nor said.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has de­clared a dis­as­ter in North Carolina amid warn­ings the worst is far from over.

Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the northern Philip­pines on Satur­day, with its pow­er­ful winds and rain set­ting off land­slides and de­stroy­ing homes, leav­ing at least 14 peo­ple dead and sev­eral miss­ing, as the storm bar­relled to­ward south­ern China.

The most pow­er­ful typhoon to hit the dis­as­ter-prone Philip­pines this year slammed ashore be­fore dawn in Ca­gayan prov­ince on the north­east­ern tip of Lu­zon is­land, a bread­bas­ket that is also a re­gion of flood­prone rice plains and moun­tain prov­inces with a his­tory of deadly land­slides.

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