Fears of catastrophic floods
The Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles to rescue hundreds of people trapped by Florence’s onslaught.
THE Marines, the Coast Guard, civilian crews and volunteers used helicopters, boats and heavy-duty vehicles on Saturday to rescue hundreds of people trapped by Florence’s onslaught, even as North Carolina braced for what could be the next stage of the disaster: widespread, catastrophic flooding inland.
The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to 11.
A day after blowing ashore with 145km/h winds, Florence parked itself over land all day long and poured on the rain. With rivers swelling towards record levels, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.
More than 60cm of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 45cm by the end of the weekend.
In New Bern, along the coast, homes were surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people.
SAVED: Robert Simmons Jr and his kitten ‘Survivor’ are rescued from floodwaters after Hurricane Florence dumped heavy rain in New Bern, North Carolina.