Small North Carolina Town Is Latest to Feel Florence's Fury

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The death toll has now risen to 43 dead in the aftermath of former Hurricane Florence, authorities said. Fire and rescue crews were waiting to go into many areas to assist with structural damage after Florence dumped up to 36 inches (91 cm) of rain in parts of North Carolina since last Thursday.

McMaster on Thursday estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion U.S., characterizing it in a letter to state congress members as the worst disaster in the state's modern history. Roads to Wilmington, which has been cut off sporadically by Florence, are opening and closing as flood water rushes to the coast.

That Hurricane Florence broke rainfall records for tropical storms in both North and SC shouldn't be surprising, as global climate change has increased extreme precipitation in all areas of the continental United States.

It moved slowly over the affected region, bringing two days of heavy rain, bringing non-stop flooding caused by storm surges and rivers bursting their banks.

To the north in Georgetown County, water continued to drain into the five rivers and several reservoirs that run through the county of 60,000 people as officials prepared to hand out thousands of sandbags on Saturday.

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"We've been working to address environmental hazards caused by industrial waste mismanagement in North Carolina for over two decades", said Will Hendrick, Waterkeeper Alliance staff attorney and manager of the Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign in a statement received by EcoWatch. "Today is the day that you need to start preparation for those evacuations".

The flood has been giving so much warning to Horry County, South Carolina, that officials published a detailed map of places that flooded in 2016 and warned those same places were going underwater again.

In Bladen County, North Carolina, about 100 people and 33 animals were rescued "in a risky operation in the middle of the night" after a dam burst, Cooper said in another post.

The barrier island community of Emerald Isle started feeling the impacts of Florence more than a day before the hurricane made landfall, and a US government water monitoring gauge ultimately recorded water levels over 6 feet (2 meters) above normal there. About 10,000 remained in shelters.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality said Thursday that Duke Energy's LV Sutton Plant in Wilmington was at the highest level of alert under the company's emergency action plan. "Many roads remain impassable".

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North Carolina may not be out of the woods just yet as the governor urges residents not to return to their homes.

There are now 32 confirmed deaths in North Carolina, a statement released by Gov. Roy Cooper's office said Friday.

On the Cape Fear River, Duke Energy said Friday that a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington, N.C. power plant has been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it's possible coal ash from an adjacent dump is flowing into the water.

Coal ash can contaminate water and harm fish and wildlife.

Some 3.4 million poultry birds were killed in North Carolina, according to the state Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

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