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Thursday October 21st

Florence has moved on, but N.C. is still dealing with its devastating impacts

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While the remnants of Hurricane Florence have moved beyond North Carolina, communities across the state are still dealing with flooding following days of rain. 

There have been 27 confirmed deaths in North Carolina as the state still copes with the disastrous effects of Hurricane Florence.

In a Monday afternoon briefing, Gov. Roy Cooper urged North Carolinians to practice caution as the state deals with the effects of the hurricane's passing.

“My most important message is first: for many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate,” Cooper said. “Flood waters are rising as rivers crest, and they will for days.”

He continued this message in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

“Even though there is no substantial rain in the forecast and the sun may be shining across many parts of our state, rivers continue to rise and we will see more flooding," he said. 

Hurricane Florence broke the North Carolina record for rainfall during a tropical storm, beating the previous record of 24.06 inches set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Chapel Hill received 6.5 inches of rain between noon on Sunday and noon Monday. 

The Wilmington and Morehead City areas received over 30 inches of rain over the last five days.

1,050 roads are closed in the state, including portions of I-95 and I-40, and the governor encouraged residents to stay off the roads if possible, particularly those south of U.S. Route 64 and east of U.S. Route 73 and U.S. Route 74. 

In Chapel Hill, sections of Estes Drive, Umstead Drive and Fordham Boulevard experienced significant flooding. 

Water levels of the Cape Fear, Lumber, Neuse, Little, Black and Haw rivers and Contentnea Creek are expected to continue rising in coming hours, according to the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network's Flood Impact Summary Report. 

Flood risks around in the Chapel Hill area are normal.

“The ground is saturated, and even a small amount of rain can cause flash flooding,” Cooper said.

Orange County opened a shelter at the Department of Social Services Commons in Hillsborough at 113 Mayo St. on Monday for residents who were displaced by flooding in Chapel Hill. There is also a shelter at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. 

Significant property damage has also been reported. FIMAN estimated the damage from flooding in the Lumber River in Lumberton is almost $35 million. 

As of 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, over 301,000 people in North Carolina do not have power. For customers of Duke Energy, the company said it will likely be days or even weeks before power is restored. 

Some areas are entirely surrounded by water, making it difficult for emergency services to bring supplies such as food, water or medicine. 

FEMA added Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Lenoir, Jones, Robeson, Sampson and Wayne counties to the Major Disaster Declaration, which has a total of 18 counties listed. Cooper said more counties are likely to be added in coming days. 

As flood waters recede and people begin to return to their homes, Cooper urged affected families to apply for assistance from FEMA.

There are several organizations you can support to help hurricane victims. To stay updated on changing conditions, sign up here for alerts from Orange County.


Anna Pogarcic contributed reporting.

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