Hurricane Florence Pummels Carolinas…
‘Storm of a Lifetime’ Causes Deaths, Blackouts
and Historic Flooding
Thirty-two dead, including a mother and two infants.
More than 1 million homes and businesses without power.
Up to a record-shattering 40 inches of rain in some areas.
Dams on the verge of bursting.
Multiple tornadoes and mudslides.
Tens of thousands of homes damaged or destroyed.
Millions of people ordered to evacuate and more than 1,000 rescued.
Interstates shut down and thousands of flights cancelled.
Carolinas Residents Trying to Survive
Those are just a few of the tragic facts coming out of the Carolinas the past week. And it’s not over yet.
Hurricane Florence has pounded both North and South Carolina relentlessly. High winds and massive flooding began this past Friday.
Slow-moving Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly after making landfall. But it was still doing major damage across both states.
The brutal wind and rain turned some towns into rushing rivers. Catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding were inundating thousands of homes.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said he was concerned that “whole communities” could be wiped away.
“Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience,” he said.
Massive Amounts of Rainfall
How much water has Florence dropped on the Carolinas the past week?
One meteorologist projected that the storm would dump about 18 trillion gallons of rain. That’s in seven days over the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.
If that amount of water were contained in Manhattan, it would reach twice as high as the island’s tallest building.
Ken Graham, head of the National Hurricane Center, said the rainfall and storm surge was “absolutely staggering.” He added, “And we’re not done yet.”
Rivers Are Still Rising
As Florence crawled along at 3 to 6 miles per hour, it was 340 miles wide. No wonder 11 million Americans were under storm watches and warnings.
Waterways across the Carolinas swelled to record-breaking levels. Some rose more than 20 feet above their averages.
The Cape Fear and Lumber Rivers were forecast to rise as high or higher than during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“This is a massive storm that has put a lot of rain and a lot of water on our coast, inland,” said FEMA Associate Administrator Jeff Byard.
Rain Out-Powers the Wind
Countless roads, from six-lane highways to suburban streets, were blocked by fallen trees and severed power lines.
Even after Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, Byard and others knew the worst was yet to come.
“Wind can hurt you… but it is the water, it’s the surge, it’s the rain that… can kill you more than the wind can in a hurricane,” he said.
Those with a chance to escape just ahead of the historic flooding found that no gasoline was available in some areas. Stations closed and wrapped their pumps in plastic.
‘Notify Your Next of Kin’
“I cannot overstate it: Floodwaters are rising. And if you aren’t watching for them, you are risking your life,” Cooper said.
Wilmington, North Carolina Mayor Mitch Colvin had a grim warning for Cape Fear residents who ignored evacuation orders.
“If you are refusing to leave during this mandatory evacuation, you need to do things like notify your next of kin. Because the loss of life is very, very possible.”
A water utility worker in Wilmington also had a dire warning. “If we do not get the needed fuel within the next 48 hours, we will not be able to continue water service for public health and safety,” he said. “Such as fire suppression and other life-sustaining activities.
“Also, our customers will be without drinking water.”
Gas Generator Kills Couple
Before the storm made landfall, the National Weather Service in Wilmington was calling Florence, “likely the storm of a lifetime.”
That prediction turned out to be no exaggeration.
Here at 4Patriots, our hearts go out to those who have suffered due to this storm. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they try to survive Florence and the aftermath.
Among the saddest stories in the Carolinas was the man who was electrocuted outside his home. He was outdoors trying to plug in extension cords for his generator.
A couple in their 60’s in Loris, South Carolina died from carbon monoxide. It came from the gas generator in their home.
And one resident was desperate just to even find gas to run his generator at home. He waited in a half-mile-long line at a local station that ran out.
Solar Generators are the Smarter Choice
Unfortunately, we can’t change the weather. The only thing we can change is how we prepare ourselves for it.
An obvious choice to help with power outages is to have a generator on hand.
But if that generator runs on gas, there could be a bigger problem than not having power.
We recommend using a solar generator instead.
You can use it to run kitchen appliances. Charge your personal or medical devices. Or light up a room with an LED light string… for weeks at a time.
There is no worry about running it inside your house because it does not produce fumes like a gas generator.
And it recharges using only the power of the sun, so you don’t have to worry about gas shortages either.
To your freedom,
Managing Editor, News4Patriots