Thousands of coastal residents have been told to prepare for evacuation as rivers and waterways continue to swell more than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall in the Carolinas.
About 6,000 to 8,000 people in Georgetown County, South Carolina, are bracing for record flooding of up to 10 feet in the wake of the storm, which dumped several feet of rain when it crept across the region earlier this month.
Georgetown County spokeswoman Jackie Broach-Akers said flooding is expected to begin Tuesday near parts of the Pee Dee and Waccamaw rivers and that people in potential flood zones should plan to leave their homes Monday.
Most rivers and waterways across the region ravaged by Florence were said to have crested Sunday, but weather officials warn dangerous flood conditions will linger for the next several days as the water slowly recedes.
The county’s emergency management director, Sam Hodge, said in a video message posted online that authorities are closely watching river gauges and law enforcement would be going door to door in any threatened areas.
‘From boots on the ground to technology that we have, we are trying to be able to get the message out,’ Hodge said in the video feed, advising people they shouldn’t await an official order to evacuate should they begin to feel unsafe.
In North Carolina, five river gauges were still at major flood stage and five others were at moderate flood stage, according to National Weather Service.
The Cape Fear River was expected to crest and remain at flood stage through the early part of the week, and parts of Interstate 40 are expected to remain underwater for another week or more.
Parts of Interstate 95 had also been expected to be underwater for days, but North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper announced Sunday night that the major highway has been reopened to all traffic, as floodwaters had withdrawn faster than expected.
Floodwaters already receding on one stretch of Interstate 40 left thousands of rotting fish on the pavement for firefighters to clean up.
Video showed firefighters blasting the dead fish off the highway with a fire hose in Pender County in eastern North Carolina.
The local fire department posted online: ‘We can add ‘washing fish off of the interstate’ to the long list of interesting things firefighters get to experience.’
North Carolina Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry said that eastern counties continue to see major flooding, including areas along the Black, Lumber, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers.
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Source: Daily Mail