Florence Wreaks Havoc In North & South Carolina

Sunday, September 16th 2018, 11:27 pm
By: News On 6

At least 18 people have been killed in Florence-related incidents  The latest death involved a driver who was killed when they lost control of their pickup truck and struck a tree near Gilbert, South Carolina, authorities said.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported the fatal collision on Sunday. They did not release the name of the victim.

Earlier Sunday, authorities said a 3-month-old child died after a tree fell on a mobile home in Dallas, North Carolina.

A dam overflowed and parks have become submerged in water as unrelenting rain came down on Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the surrounding area.
Water on the Cape Fear River, which passes through Fayetteville, continued to rise Sunday, and according to the National Weather Service had reached more than 44 feet by 6 p.m. The river continues its slow climb to a predicted crest at 62 feet Tuesday, prompting a mandatory evacuation for areas within 1 mile of the river.

Just south of Fayetteville, water spilled over the top of the recently constructed Hope Mills Dam, which blocks Rockfish Creek, a tributary of the Cape Fear River.

Fayetteville resident Charles Jockers says the slow rise may lull people into complacency. He said despite the evacuation order, in-town traffic has been increasing over the last few days.

Flash flood watches have been posted in parts of southern West Virginia as the remnants of Florence fall on saturated ground. The National Weather Service has issued the watch through Monday evening in Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe and Summers counties.

The weather service says 2 to 4 inches of rain are expected in the watch area with 5 inches or more possible in parts of the Greenbrier Valley.
A flood warning has been posted in Virginia along the New River, which flows north into West Virginia.

In June 2016, 9 inches of rain fell in 36 hours in parts of West Virginia, leaving 23 dead statewide and destroying thousands of homes, businesses and infrastructure.

North Carolina's chief lawyer says he's looking into accusations that retailers are bilking customers through exorbitant prices as Florence and the storm's remnants have crossed the state. Attorney General Josh Stein said Sunday his office has received 500 complaints so far alleging price-gouging for essentials like gas and water, as well as excessive hotel prices for evacuees.

Stein says investigations of gas stations have already begun.The price-gouging law took effect when Cooper declared a state of emergency more than a week ago. It prevents retailers from charging "unreasonably excessive" prices for goods used in an emergency.
The law allows Stein's office to stop the high pricing and seek refunds for consumers. Civil penalties also are possible.Stein also warned citizens to be careful about finding reputable businesses to perform home repairs or tree removals following the storm and about choosing reputable charities for recovery donations.

Floodwaters from Florence are lapping at doorsteps of some homes in the town of Bennettsville, South Carolina, where firefighters used an inflatable boat to get some residents to dry ground.

Heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane Florence caused the street to flood Sunday on Talon Drive where Mildred Smith lives across the street from her niece, Jovanaka Smith.

Water had seeped to their front porches Sunday afternoon when firefighters came to the neighborhood, wading door-to-door through ankle-deep water and asking residents to leave.

The Smiths packed some spare clothes and medications before getting into a rescue boat. They didn't have to go far. Firefighters dropped them off at the neighboring home of a relative that remained on dry ground.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.