Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm from a category one hurricane, cascades of rain are pouring onto residential areas, filling the first floor of houses and causing cars to float along streets.
Rivers have burst their banks as the rain consistently falls with the slow-moving storm.
Florence is moving slowly across eastern South Carolina, and according to the National Hurricane Center is producing “catastrophic flooding over North and South Carolina.”
Dangerous storm surges and rising tides have caused coastal areas to be flooded, with water rushing inland from the shoreline.
Videos posted to social media show water gushing through the streets and carrying debris as winds cause trees to rip from their roots.
The coastline is under immediate threat of increasingly high water levels due to winds pushing surges onshore, with large and destructive waves.
Water could reach as high as 5ft in some areas.
Here is a list of areas which could see water heights reach dangerous levels:
- The Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay Rivers…3-5 ft
- Ocracoke Inlet NC to Cape Lookout NC…2-4 ft
- Cape Lookout NC to Cape Fear NC…3-5 ft
- Cape Fear NC to Myrtle Beach SC…2-4 ft
According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski: “Strength, track and forward speed of Florence will be the major players in determining the scope and amount of rainfall and correspondingly the severity of inland flooding.”
There is the potential for 40 inches of rain to fall in some areas across Northern and Southern Carolina.
If 40 inches of rain does fall, it will be the heaviest amount of rain from a single storm in the lower United States since Hurricane Harvey in 2017 says Accuweather.
Since the storm began, weather experts gave already recorded more than 20 inches of rain in southeastern North Carolina.
Rainfall enough to cause major flooding could occur in part of northern Georgia, eastern Tennessee and perhaps southern West Virginia.
This would happen should Florence continue on its westward trajectory this weekend and into early next week.
Should the storm change direction it could bring torrential rain to southern Virginia or even farther south in Georgia.
The northeast could also face flooding from Florence, but not until later next week, depending on the path of the storm.
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