South Carolina

FLORENCE AFTERMATH: 31 dead as a result of Florence; 24 of those were in NC

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Minute-by-minute updates on the Hurricane Florence aftermath (all times local):

10:25 p.m.

The state of emergency declared for Catawba County in response to Hurricane Florence ended at 8 p.m. Monday.

8:50 p.m.

Officials say 31 people have died as a result of Florence; 24 of those were in North Carolina.

8:12 p.m.

Areal flood warning for Anson, Richmond and Stanly counties until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

7:20 p.m.

The dam on Highway 145 in Lilesville burst Monday, which forced residents in several homes to evacuate, the Anson County sheriff said.

[Residents forced to evacuate after dam break in Anson County]

7:10 p.m.

Flash flood warning for Richmond County until 10 p.m. Monday.

6:40 p.m.

Areal flood warning for Cabarrus County until 9:30 p.m. Monday.

6:37 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm warning for Richmond County until 7:45 p.m.

5:45 p.m.

Chesterfield County officials said there have been two more water rescues in the area.

One of the rescues happened on Ginger Ridge Rd near Cheraw State Park. Five people made it out safely as flood waters rose.

In that last hour, two more water rescues in Chesterfield County. This one on Ginger Ridge Rd near Cheraw State Park. ...

Posted by Greg Suskin, Channel 9 on Monday, September 17, 2018

5:45 p.m.

An areal flood warning was issued for Anson, Richmond, and Stanly counties until 8:45 p.m. Monday.

5 p.m.

Officials in Union County said 28 roads were still impassable Monday evening because of damage.

[PHOTOS: Chopper 9 over flooding, damage after Florence barreled through]

At the height of the storm, 177 roads were shut down.

Channel 9 crews were on the scene of Old Camden Road in Monroe, where the road was blocked off and the street was damaged.


4:30 p.m.

Carmel Middle School will be closed to students and staff on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District tweeted that damage and loss of power from Florence has caused the closure.


4:10 p.m.

A tornado has touched down just outside of Richmond, Virginia -- at least the second tornado to hit the state as the remnants of Hurricane Florence passes through.

The National Weather Service said on Twitter that a confirmed tornado was on the ground in Chesterfield County, Virginia Monday afternoon.  There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The county school system said all students in county schools were sheltered in place.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said earlier that a tornado damaged three properties in Mecklenberg County, Virginia, which is near the border with North Carolina.

Large swaths of the state have been under flash-flood and tornado watches and warnings as Florence moves north through the state.


4:10 p.m.

Lumberton Fire Chief John Paul Ivey said his firefighters and other Robeson County agencies have responded to hundreds of calls for water rescue and other assistance across the county since Florence began blowing through days ago.

"We've been going so hard and fast we don't have a number yet," he said when asked if there was a total he could provide.

He said a damage estimate would also come later for the town inundated by floodwater.

He says the river is expected to crest sometime Monday night around 25 feet, more than 10 feet above flood stage, which matches weather service data for a Lumberton stream gauge.


4 p.m.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has 300 people on the ground and is ready to go into places such as Wilmington, North Carolina, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Nielsen spoke Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, before surveying flood damage in Kinston.

Nielsen said she briefed President Donald Trump on Florence response and recovery efforts in the Carolinas on Monday morning. She said the president would arrive himself as soon as it was safe, so as to not disrupt any lifesaving operations.

She urged evacuees to stay where they are until local officials say the danger of more flooding has passed. She also warned people about the dangers of walking or driving in flooded areas.


2 p.m.

An areal flood warning was issued for Burke County until 8:15 p.m. Monday.

2 p.m.

Chesterfield County schools will be closed again Tuesday, Sept. 18.


1:30 p.m.

North Carolina's top transportation official says there is now some access into the city of Wilmington, previously cut off by floods from former Hurricane Florence.

Department of Transportation Secretary James Trogdon said Monday that there is one major accessible route into the city of nearly 120,000.

He did not say what road that is, and no other details were available immediately.

1:30 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the crisis "continues" in his state due to flooding and tornadoes from Florence.

Cooper said at a news conference Monday that "the danger is still immediate."

He said floodwaters continue to rise as rivers crest "and they will for days."

Cooper said first responders have rescued and evacuated more than 2,600 people and 300 animals from flooded areas so far. He said about 484,000 people in North Carolina are without electricity.


1 p.m.

An areal flood warning was issued for Union County until 7:15 p.m. Monday.


12:20 p.m.

An areal flood warning was issued for Cabarrus County until 6:45 p.m. Monday.


12:10 p.m.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District will open on a regular schedule Tuesday, Sept. 18.


11:55 a.m.

Union County Public Schools announced classes will be canceled Tuesday, Sept. 18. It will be an optional teacher work day for staff.

The district said Wednesday, Sept. 19 will remain a teacher work day and school will be closed for students.

Schools and offices will operate on a normal schedule on Thursday, Sept. 20.

[CLICK for full list of closings]

Florence hammered Union County with rain and rising flood waters.

Channel 9's Glenn Counts was in Union County Monday, where some of the roads are washed out or gone in some places.

Click the above video for more on Florence's impacts in Union County and around the Charlotte area. 


11:45 a.m.

At last check, Duke Energy was reporting 12,141 power outages across Mecklenburg County.

The company also said 305,623 customers were without power across North Carolina.


11:00 a.m.

A flood warning has been issued for Lancaster County in South Carolina.

>> Stay updated on the storm and its latest track by downloading our weather app.


10:30 a.m. 

Officials say they have located the body of missing 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch, who was swept away in floodwaters Sunday night.


10:00 a.m. 

The Union County Sheriff's Office confirmed they located a body near a car in floodwaters. The car was mostly covered in water.

Deputies believe the car may have been swept away during the storm Sunday


10:00 a.m. 

Officials in Lancaster county said they had 20 roads closed Sunday due to flooding. SCDOT and county officials said they will be checking them again to make sure they are safe to reopen.

President Donald Trump has approved federal funding to aid recovery efforts in areas of South Carolina affected by Florence.

In a news release Monday, the White House said Trump had declared that a major disaster exists in the state. He ordered that federal aid be used "to supplement state, tribal and local" recovery efforts in the state.


9:30 a.m. 

An areal flood warning has been issued for Anson, Richmond, and Stanly counties until 3:45 p.m. Monday.


9:00 a.m.

On Highway 145 north of Chesterfield, a bridge gave out under a semi-truck.

The sheriff told Channel 9's Greg Suskin the truck driver is OK.

8:30 a.m. 

As of 8:30 a.m., NCDOT reported 9 roads were flooded in Cabarrus, 18 in Union County, 26 in Stanly County, and more than 90 were closed in Anson County.


8:00 a.m. 

An areal flood warning has been extended for Burke County from 8:15 a.m. Monday until 2:15 p.m. Monday.

7:55 a.m. 

The Union County Sheriff's Office said there are 28 roads still closed after Sunday's storms.

Below is a list of Union County road closures.

6:15 a.m. 

Search activities are expected to resume Monday after crews spent several hours searching for a missing 1-year-old, who was swept away in rushing waters Saturday night in Union County.

(Kaiden Lee-Welch)


5:45 a.m. 

A Flash Flood Warning has been issued for Anson, Richmond, and Stanly County until 12:15 p.m.

Many roads across the Charlotte area are still shutdown after widespread flooding Sunday.

Traffic Team 9 is monitoring road closures all morning on Eyewitness News.

Here is a comprehensive list of Union County road closures.


5:00 a.m. 

WSOC's Weather Team said strong storms are still moving through Anson and Richmond counties Monday morning.

Torrential rains, strong winds, and lightning are the threats for the area.

These storms are expected to move out of the area in the next hour.


Monday - 4:00 a.m. 

Areal flood warnings have been issued to the following counties:

- Cabarrus County until 12:45 p.m. Monday

- Union County until 1:15 p.m. Monday

- Chesterfield and Lancaster counties in South Carolina until 10:30 a.m. Monday

- Ashe and Watauga counties until 10:30 a.m. Monday

- Burke and Caldwell counties until 8:15 a.m. Monday

- Rowan County until 5:15 a.m. Monday


Sunday - 9:57 p.m.

Flash flood warning for Anson, Richmond and Stanly counties until 6:15 a.m. Monday.


Swollen rivers near record levels as Florence looms

With Wilmington cut off from the rest of North Carolina by still-rising floodwaters from Florence, officials plan to airlift food and water to a city of nearly 120,000 people as rescuers elsewhere pull inland residents from homes threatened by swollen rivers.

The spreading disaster claimed additional lives Sunday, with at least 17 people confirmed dead, and the nation's top emergency official said other states were in the path this week.

[CLICK HERE for list of current closings]

[PHOTOS: Deadly Florence soaks the Carolinas]

"Not only are you going to see more impact across North Carolina, ... but we're also anticipating you are about to see a lot of damage going through West Virginia, all the way up to Ohio as the system exits out," Brock Long of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Sunday on Fox News.

>> Stay updated on the storm and its latest track by downloading our weather app.

In Wilmington , the state's eighth-largest city, residents waited for hours outside stores and restaurants for basic necessities like water. Police guarded the door of one store, and only 10 people were allowed inside at a time.

County commission chairman Woody White said officials were planning for food and water to be flown into the coastal city.

"Our roads are flooded," he said. "There is no access to Wilmington."

About 70 miles (115 kilometers) away from the coast, residents near the Lumber River stepped from their homes directly into boats floating in their front yards; river forecasts showed the scene could be repeated in towns as far as 250 miles inland as waters rise for days.



Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence was still massive. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and South Carolina in the bull's-eye.

Meanwhile, half way around the world, Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into southern China on Sunday after lashing the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain that left dozens dead. More than 2.4 million people were evacuated from China's southern Guangdong province ahead of the massive typhoon, the strongest to hit the region in nearly two decades.

In North Carolina, fears of what could be the worst flooding in the state's history led officials to order tens of thousands to evacuate, though it wasn't clear how many had fled or even could.

President Donald Trump said federal emergency workers, first responders and law enforcement officials were "working really hard." As the storm "begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear. Very Professional!" he declared in a tweet.

he storm's death toll climbed to 17 when authorities said a 3-month-old child was killed when a tree fell on a mobile home in North Carolina. Three people died in weather-related traffic accidents, officials said.

Victor Merlos was overjoyed to find a store open for business in Wilmington since he had about 20 relatives staying at his apartment, which still had power. He spent more than $500 on cereal, eggs, soft drinks and other necessities, plus beer.

"I have everything I need for my whole family," said Merlos. Nearby, a Waffle House restaurant limited breakfast customers to one biscuit and one drink, all take-out, with the price of $2 per item.

Kenneth Campbell had donned waterproof waders intending to check out his home in Lumberton , but he didn't bother when he saw the Coast Guard and murky waters in his neighborhood.

"I'm not going to waste my time. I already know," he said.

As rivers swelled, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from gigantic hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

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The industrial-scale farms contain vast pits of animal feces and urine that can pose a significant pollution threat if they are breached or inundated by floodwaters. In past hurricanes, flooding at dozens of farms also left hundreds of thousands of dead hogs, chickens and other decomposing livestock bobbing in floodwaters.

Some stream gauges used to monitor river levels failed when they became submerged, but others showed water levels rising steadily, with forecasts calling for rivers to at or near record levels. The Defense Department said about 13,500 military personnel were assigned to help relief efforts.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile (1.6 kilometers) of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the North Carolina coast. The evacuation zone included part of the city of Fayetteville, population 200,000.

Near the flooded-out town of New Bern , where about 455 people had to be rescued from the swirling flood waters, water completely surrounded churches, businesses and homes. In the neighboring town of Trenton, downtown streets were turned to creeks full of brown water.

The rain was unrelenting in Cheraw, a town of about 6,000 people in northeastern South Carolina. Streets were flooded and Police Chief Keith Thomas warned people not to drive, but the local food and gas store had customers.

"As you can tell, they're not listening to me," he said.

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