A flooded house is seen during the Hurricane Florence in Duplin County, North Carolina, United States on September 15, 2018. ( Atılgan Özdil – Anadolu Agency )
By Umar Farooq
More than 350,000 customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are still without power Tuesday after Florence continues its sweep through the region.
While the worst of the storm is over, remnants of Florence have moved towards the Mid-Atlantic region and flooding is still posing a threat to the Carolinas.
Major flooding is expected to wrack the Carolinas throughout the week, and officials are monitoring the threat from large industrial-type hog and poultry farms whose waste pools could pose major environmental threats should they be overrun by floodwaters.
“Significant river flooding is expected to continue in the Carolinas over the next week and flood warnings remain in effect across the region,” the Department of Energy said Tuesday.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper reported 2,600 people have been rescued and evacuated, in addition to 300 animals in the state.
Florence dropped more than 30 inches of rain over a few areas of North Carolina, while dropping in excess of 20 inches in more than a dozen parts of the state.
Sixteen tornados spawned from Florence on Monday, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A tornado in Virginia resulted in one death, raising the death toll to 32, according to The Associated Press.
Moody’s Analytics told CNBC news the estimated the cost of damages is between $17 billion and $22 billion, which is a fraction of the cost Hurricane Harvey in Texas at $125 billion, and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, $90 billion, caused last year.
“This event is not over, and we will be right beside both North Carolina and South Carolina as they begin this lengthy recovery process,” Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said in a statement.
Scientists say the slow moving pace of Florence was very similar to Hurricane Harvey, which dropped more than 60 inches of rain on Texas.
In a report published earlier this year, James Kossin, a researcher at NOAA, showed there is a growing trend of slower moving storms that have increased the impact and damage they create.
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to visit the areas hit by Hurricane Florence on Wednesday with South Carolina senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham expected to join him.