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Dam breach retires power plant in North Carolina

22 September 2018

After submerging North Carolina with almost 3 feet (1 meter) of rain, the storm dumped more than 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters) of rain in the Northeast, where it caused flash flooding.

About 56,000 homes and business remain without power as of Friday afternoon.

Entire communities, including housing developments, shopping centers, farms, forests and roads, are completely engulfed by water.

"I'm just assuming, based on the depth of the water that we had in North Carolina and the amount of rainfall, that we probably will exceed what we had in Matthew", Commissioner Steve Troxler said in an interview after flying over flooded areas.

"We've never had it at those levels before, so we don't really know what the impact will be just yet", he said. For many residents in those areas it's not the first time they have been hit by a disaster.

In some areas, it will by days or weeks before the floodwaters fully recede and the landscape returns to normal.

"They need to be prepared no matter how the skies are looking like, the floods are coming". The women, Windy Newton, 45, and Nicolette Green, 43, drowned Tuesday in a prison transport van when sheriff's deputies couldn't open the doors of the vehicle, authorities said.

"People should always assume that flood water is always contaminated", Betsey Tilson of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, said.

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North Carolina is the country's No. 2 swine-producing state, its leading producer of tobacco and a major poultry producer, making agriculture its principle industry, valued at $87 billion. County spokeswoman Elizabeth Stalls says there have been at least 150 rescues, but there have been many more "to the point where we've lost count".

Roy Cooper's office said Friday evening that there are now 32 confirmed dead in that state.

It has been a little more than a year since Hurricane Harvey dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast, killing 68 people and causing an estimated $125 billion in property damage.

The flooding from Florence has also caused 21 hog "lagoons", which store manure from pig farms, to overflow in North Carolina, possibly contaminating standing water, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality. "Due to this, travel isn't recommended south of USA 64", it said. Over the weekend, Duke also said that flooding had resulted in toxic coal ash spill.

"We should act immediately to allay such concerns and provide financial certainty to teachers, many of whom are likely burdened with expensive home repairs", they wrote. The mandatory evacuation issued Thursday for Kelly, population about 800, was the third for the town since the storm began lashing the state more than a week ago.

The deaths of 26 people in North Carolina and six in SC have been attributed to the storm. Duke reported a second concerning incident involving a coal ash landfill at the site in the aftermath of Florence.

He warned flooding would continue into next week, meaning "that lives are still at risk".

Dam breach retires power plant in North Carolina