Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday, September 14 at 7:15 a.m. as a category 1 storm. Although the hurricane has now dissipated and is now a tropical depression, the aftermath is devastating.
The states primarily affected by Florence are North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Almost two million people inhabiting the coastal regions of Virginia and the Carolinas were evacuated, and the homes of about 10 million were under threat. What remains of the storm is still bringing heavy rain to the area as well as flash flooding, some towns have seen as much as 36 inches of rainfall.
In Wilmington, North Carolina water is everywhere, filling up interstates and homes, and causing rivers to surge and continue to fill. Although the rain has stopped, water clogs up highways and overwhelms gauges that are meant to measure rivers. More than 1,100 roads have been closed since Tuesday, including major interstates 95 and 40.
West Virginia avoided torrential rain after forecasters said that Florence would have “life-threatening, catastrophic flooding rainfall” across the mountain of western North Carolina and West Virginia. West Virginia only received a whopping 2 inches of rain after moving out early Tuesday.
The effects of Florence have left 343,000 people without power in the affected areas. About 10,000 people have filled shelters, while other seek sanctuary with family or friends. Local prisoners were also affected, with North Carolina corrections officials saying that more than 3,000 people had to be relocated from adult prisons and juvenile centers that were in the path of Florence.
At least 35 people have died from storm-related incidents; 25 in North Carolina, 6 in South Carolina, and 1 in Virginia. Amid the victims were 41-year-old Lesha Murphy Johnson and her 7-month-old son, who died after a tree fell onto their house. Two other children have also been killed. Kaiden-Lee Welch was swept away in rushing waters from Richardson Creek in Union County, North Carolina. The other was 3-month-old, Kate Gills, who was killed after a tree fell onto a mobile home in Dallas, North Carolina.
A statement from Sanderson Farms, a poultry producer, has said that an estimated 1.7 million chickens have died. 60 of the company’s broiler houses have flooded and another six are in need of repair after damage. The company’s CEO, Joe Sanderson Jr., said that no employees or contractors were killed or seriously injured in the storm.
President Trump has scheduled to visit North Carolina on Wednesday and will get a firsthand look on the impact of Hurricane Florence.
Former NBA star Michael Jordan, who played high school basketball in Wilmington, North Carolina, is donating $2 million to assist the residents in North and South Carolina. Jordan is also contributing $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation For The Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund, according to a news release issued Tuesday.
For those looking to help, The American Red Cross and many other organizations just like it are accepting donations that go towards aiding in their response efforts.