Hurricane Florence left five people dead as it touched down in Carolina on Friday, leaving a path of destruction on its trail, Reuters reported. Trees were uprooted, rivers gorged and continuous rain marked its arrival.
It was later downgraded to a tropical storm, which was still however, dangerous. Forecasters predicted that the size of the 350 mile wide storm and its slowness gave the impression that both Carolinas would be underwater by the time it finished its work.
The National Hurricane Center however, said that upto 30 to 40 inches of rain would flood on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and into the northeastern coast of South Carolina.
“This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” the center said.
Atlantic Beach on North Carolina’s Outer Banks islands had already received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
On Friday, the sustained winds were recorded upto 70mph.
North Carolina utilities have estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state’s Department of Public Safety said.
“These are folks who decided to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation,” city public information officer Colleen Roberts said. “These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they’re seeing the floodwaters rise.”