Warning: Don’t drive to North Carolina – Florence wreaks havoc

Soldier in rescue in NC
Soldier on way to rescue in flooded North Carolina. Army and Marines amphibious vehicles are involved in state-wide emergency caused by Florence

Don’t drive through flooded North Carolina – that’s the warning as flash floods trap hundreds of people who are being rescued as Florence dumps massive amounts of water across the state.

The warning to stay out of North Carolina comes from the state’s department of transport.

Jim Trogdon, secretary of the NC department of transport said: “We are asking out of state travellers to avoid driving through NC. I have never seen flash flooding like this in our state. It is making it difficult for for us to move valuable resources to areas of need.”

Marines North Carolina Marines prepare supplies for amphibious vehicle rescue operations.

National Guard troops, Marines and out of state rescuers and others are attempting to rescue hundreds of people all along coastal and inland locations that have been flooded.

Some 741,000 homes and businesses have no electricity in what is described as a historic state-wide flooding situation. Much of this flooding is caused by the amount of rain pouring out of Hurricane Florence, causing streets to turn into lakes. Rivers are also cresting at record highs. Some rivers are expected to continue to rise as the now tropical storm moves at a snail’s pace.

Mike Sprayberry, head of North Carolina Emergency Management said: “We are currently engaged in large scale search and rescue missions in coastal counties. The flooding we are experiencing will only get worse.”

245 rescues had been carried out by the troops and other rescue workers by 12:45 p.m. local time. Hundreds more need to be moved from flooded areas that are under mandatory evacuation along coastal cities.

Marines to the rescue in NC 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion Marines load supplies on an assault amphibious vehicle in prep for providing high-water rescues iso civil authorities when requested & tasked by USNORTHCOM. The AAV can conduct ship-to-shore water mobility & maneuver terrain & waterways ashore. – Photo NORAD-USNORTHCOM

“Rescuers are reaching flooded areas by boat and and air, taking hundreds of people to safety,” said North Carolina’s governor Roy Cooper.

The national weather service said “the average walking speed is 3.1 mph, Florence is moving at 2 mph. As a result of the slow movement Florence is producing heavy rain and flash floods. Turn around, don’t drown.”

The FAA issued a warning to people not to fly drones around flood affected areas or else they’ll be fined $20,000 for interfering with rescue operations.