The past weekend could be succinctly described as the “Time of the Two Super-Storms”. In both the Pacific and Atlantic, eastern-facing coastal areas were hammered respectively by Super-Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong in the Philippines) and Hurricane Florence. While Mangkhut raised hell and high water on the western Pacific and the uppermost regions of Southeast Asia, Florence in turn cut a stormy path through the Atlantic, from a tropical depression in Cape Verde just off Africa’s west coast, to Bermuda and its point of landfall in the US East Coast, the Carolinas. Damage estimates are appalling, with physical devastation and health issues.
CNN reports that about 32 people have been reported killed with hundreds more trapped in flooded areas following the passing of Hurricane Florence which made landfall in North Carolina last Friday, September 14. As of Monday, September 17, Florence has since diminished into a low-pressure area over West Virginia, but the damage has been done and is still ongoing. Streets and other roadways were transformed into torrential waterways by the ensuing storm surge from the coasts and the rivers, with rubber rescue boats and responders braving the currents and possible submerged obstacles to reach families stranded in their houses.
By Monday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has taken stock of the situation and described the visit of Florence as a “monumental disaster”. Rain continues to fall in the area, with 2 to 5 inches expected on the central and southeastern parts of the State. The National Weather Service has recorded “historical” levels of river flooding, with the possibility of serious contamination due to some local hog farms being inundated, their waste materials being carried off by the waters. Nearby southern Virginia and South Carolina have been issued flash-flood warnings; in the former, a tornado formed by the weather killed one person by collapsing a building.
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Waiting for the water to recede so I can get to the arduous work ahead. No electric or plumbing. A @yeti full of ice would be nice right about now. Definitely my fist purchase when I can get out of here. We need to move as this is our second flood in two years. #hurricanceflorence #hurricane #flood #flooding #timetomove #fema #needtomove #yeticoolers #houseforsale #CNNweather @realdonaldtrump @weatherchannel
Electricity was also an issue, with some 488,551 and 16,385 customers, (some of which may be multi-person households) in North and South Carolina respectively, being without power. The port city of Wilmington was totally cut off from all access by Florence during Sunday, September 16. At the latest only one road could be cleared for rescue and supply use, but Wilmington evacuees are as yet being dissuaded from returning. Both treated water and fuel are noted to be running low. Another social issue at the moment is reports of household pets left at flooded homes or cages by evacuated families, resulting in social media indignation.
As for where the remains of Florence will go, the NWS sees it moving northeast by Tuesday, September 18. Its last hurrah could be heavy rains in north Pennsylvania, central New York and even Boston.
Image from The Epoch Times