Over 54,000 still without power in Carolinas after Florence

Carlton Robbins
September 22, 2018

As environmental worries mount, Duke Energy said a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington power plant had been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it was possible that coal ash from an adjacent dump was flowing into the Cape Fear River. "Proactively clearing potential legal and fiscal hurdles in preparation for a relief package will signal to our Congressional partners that North Carolina is ready to immediately begin aid disbursal".

Authorities have said 23 out of the 46 counties in SC could potentially be impacted by flooding.

Coal ash is an industrial waste created by coal-burning power plants, and can carry health risks.

Officials are also anxious about contamination and environmental hazards from the storm, including the potential effects of coal ash.

Gray muck has been seeing flowing into the Cape Fear River near the site.

In Bladen County, North Carolina, around 100 people and 33 animals were rescued "in a risky operation in the middle of the night" after a dam burst, Governor Roy Cooper said in a twitter post on Friday. The program will start in nine counties and residents will be allowed to choose transitional housing close to their permanent homes.

Sprayberry said the state's eastern counties are continuing to see major flooding, including certain locations along the Black, Lumber, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers. The National Weather Service said the river could reach record flood levels late Saturday or early Sunday.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said in a news release Thursday that he wanted the legislature to return on October 9 to handle Hurricane Florence relief. He urged residents of southeastern North Carolina to stay alert for flood warnings and evacuation orders. "Due to this, travel isn't recommended south of USA 64", it said.

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An area of 60,000 people, on the Atlantic coast between Myrtle Beach and Charleston, is one of several areas in the Carolinas waiting anxiously for rivers to crest, a week after Florence dumped three feet of rain on the region.

He said certain areas of Interstates 95 and 40 are still underwater.

The water has receded in some places, but as it moves downstream, officials say, thousands of people could be in danger until next week.

"We're at the end of the line of all waters to come down", said Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway, as he warned the area may see a flood like it has never seen before.

Moody's Analytics said Monday the hurricane's cost is estimated between $17 billion to $22 billion. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward from the center up to 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the northwest.

While the rain subsided, some rivers are still rising, and North and SC officials warn the flooding danger is far from over.

"They got hit, but the big hit comes days later and it will be the biggest they've ever had", said Trump, who visited North and SC this week.

About 4,700 people across North Carolina have been rescued by boat or helicopter since the storm made landfall, twice as many as in Hurricane Matthew two years ago, while about 10,000 remain in shelters. They got in a friend's pickup and were eventually driven out on a military vehicle.

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