More days of flooding ahead for Carolinas, surrounding states

Florence was degraded to a tropical storm after it's landfall on Friday, but strong wind, torrential rain, and flood water have devastated communities, killing at least 17 people.

Four days after Florence blew ashore and began unloading more than 2 feet of rain that paralyzed much of North Carolina, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said Tuesday that two routes were now open into Wilmington, which had been cut off by floodwaters.

A portion of a motel collapsed from the weight of water, which made only the roof of the Starlite Motel visible in Spring Lake in Cumberland County, said Sherita Brooks of the county's Division of Social Services.

The Coast Guard said it had 26 helicopters and 11 aircraft looking for people in trouble.

"The soil is soaked and can't absorb any more rain so that water has to go somewhere, unfortunately", he said, adding that the rivers would start to crest on Monday.

But the enormous rainfall from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath left clinics closed and hospitals isolated in flood-ravaged North Carolina.

The victims include a 1-year-old boy who was swept away after his mother drove into floodwaters and lost her grip on him while trying to get back to dry land in North Carolina.

More than 340,000 customers were without power on Tuesday morning, according to power companies, down from a peak of almost 1 million outages.

Officials in the Carolinas are anxious about what deaths are still to come amid the swelling rivers and flooding from Florence's crawl across both states.

"As we approach recovery will need to work on mitigation and buyouts, make sure we involve local, state and fed officials", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Also ahead of Hurricane Florence, about 217 sick and disabled patients were moved from the Hampton, Virginia center and transported to other facilities in Martinsburg, West Virginia; Salem, Virginia; Richmond, Virginia; and Salisbury, North Carolina, VA officials said.

That's the takeaway from recent viral news stories coming out in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, which are drawing attention to the plight of the animals left behind as owners are forced to flee the flooded region.

The report said that I-40 from Exit 385 near Wallace to the New Hanover County line is closed. Residents in the nearby town of Conway worry that's going to send water from the rising Waccamaw River to flood their homes instead.

Jordan was raised in the coastal city of Wilmington before moving on to star at North Carolina and in the National Basketball Association.

At the White House, Donald Trump said nearly 20,000 military personnel and federal workers were deployed to help with the aftermath. "We just burned up the airwaves", Alsup said.

  • Essie Rivera