Hurricane Florence Kills at Least 23 People

Photo from Ukrinform

In the United States, the death toll from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath has risen to at least 23, Reuters reports.

More than 700 thousand homes remain without electricity. It will take up to three weeks to completely restore power.

The speed of the hurricane decreased to 55 kilometers per hour, but North Carolina is still threatened by floods. In some cities, 60 centimeters of rain fell. The final figures, according to forecasts, can reach one meter.

The slow-moving storm, a hurricane when it hit the North Carolina coast, has dumped up to 36 inches or 91 centimeters of rain on the state since Thursday, displacing thousands. The flooding could persist for several weeks in some areas.

Almost 10 thousand servicemen of the National Guard were deployed to assist local residents.

The authorities and volunteers in North and South Carolina carried out additional rescues by air and water, curfews were in effect, and many thousands of people remained out of their homes.

Florence was headed through Virginia and towards New England, and flash flood watches extended from Maryland through New York and southern New England.

In the Carolinas, the National Weather Service(NWS) continued to warn people that the floods were worsening.

Evacuation orders are still being issued as rivers rise and dams are tested.

“The worst is yet to come,” as river levels rise to historic levels, said Zach Taylor, an NWS meteorologist. “The soil is soaked and can’t absorb any more rain, so that water has to go somewhere, unfortunately.”

Major rivers are expected to remain flooded for the next two to three weeks, said Steve Goldstein, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration liaison to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.