Tuesday, September 18

FEMA chief: :"The next 48-hours are extremely critical." NC governor: "There's too much going on."

"Preliminary statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed Florence had the fourth-highest rainfall total of any hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 1950, with 35.94 inches (91.2 centimeters) at Elizabethtown, North Carolina. Harvey’s total of 60.58 inches (60.5 centimeters) last year in Texas is No. 1." -- from an Associated Press report.

The worst of the situation for North Carolina, at least, is the number of rivers in the state that just couldn't take any more rain. Flooding in the wake of Hurricane Florence has been catastrophic in the hardest-hit areas and will continue for the next few days. 

For details here are two reports, one from AP, "Emergency crews throw supply lifeline to isolated Wilmington" published today; no timestamp, and a CNN report published today at 3:42 PM EDT, "Fear near Cape Fear rises with the river, and the death toll from Florence keeps growing."

The AP sums it in the closing paragraphs of their report:
Flooding worries also increased in Virginia, where roads were closed and power outages were on the rise. In all, about 420,000 homes and businesses in three states were in the dark. Most of the outages were in North Carolina.
Florence, once a fearsome Category 4 hurricane, was still massive. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states.
Fears of what could be the worst flooding in North Carolina's history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it was not clear how many had fled or even could.
Emergency officials had difficulty keeping up with the scope of the spreading disaster. In Lumberton, where the Lumber River inundated homes, Fire Chief John Paul Ivey couldn’t even count how many calls authorities had received about people needing to be rescued.
“We’ve been going so hard and fast we don’t have a number yet,” he said.

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