Dozens Dead in Florence Aftermath

Source: Lt. Zachary West - U.S. Department of Defense

N.Carolina – The death toll in the wake of Hurricane Florence has risen to 37 in the Carolinas and Virginia, with flooding cutting off entire towns. More than 15,000 people are in shelters. 3,000 people were rescued by boat and helicopter.

Wilmington’s 120,000 residents, cut off from the rest of North Carolina by still-rising floodwaters, began receiving food, water, and tarps.

According to the Weather Channel, human and animal waste is mixing with the swirling floodwaters, which have killed about 1.7 million chickens on poultry farms. More than 5 million gallons of partially-treated sewage spilled into the Cape Fear River after the power went out at a treatment plant, officials said, and the earthen dam of a pond holding hog waste was breached, spilling its contents.

Reports say five spots have preliminarily topped North Carolina’s tropical cyclone rainfall record: Swansboro (34 inches), Hofmann Forest (29.48 inches), Sunny Point (27.44 inches), Nature Conservancy (27.12 inches) and Newport/Morehead City (25.20 inches). The previous record was 24.06 inches from Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

PowerOutage.us reports that more than 300,000 homes and businesses remain without power in North Carolina.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of more than 7,000 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles from the North Carolina coast. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.

In New Bern, where residents had to be rescued from flooded homes, Fire Chief Robert Boyd said 4,300 homes were inundated by floodwaters.