Florence leaves mark on W-S

Florence leaves mark on W-S
September 20
04:00 2018

Winston-Salem experienced some isolated flooding, downed trees and temporary power outages when the remnants of Hurricane Florence hit the Triad over the weekend. 

University Parkway at Coliseum Drive was flooded Sunday night due to a clogged storm drain. Areas of Salem Creek Greenway and Salem Lake Trail were under water. Apartments on Bethania Station Road were also evacuated due to flooding from the heavy rains.

During their Monday meeting, Mayor Allen Joines and the City Council thanked first responders and city staff for their work to help residents through the storm. Resources are already being dispatched to the eastern part of the state that was hard hit by the hurricane.

On Twitter, the Winston-Salem Fire Department is reporting that it was helping other areas Tuesday. One tweet said: “Lillington, NC (Harnett Co.): Our water rescue team has been working with Cary FD clearing houses. Two beagles were rescued this morning.”

Florence, once a fearsome Category 4 hurricane, became a tropical depression by the time it reached Winston-Salem. But the storm has wreaked havoc. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, including South Carolina.

News reports say that as of Tuesday, Sept. 18, at least 35 people have died in storm-related incidents: 27 in North Carolina, six in South Carolina and two in Virginia. Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm on Friday, Sept. 14, and lingered for days as a tropical storm then tropical depression, dumping copious amounts of rain across North Carolina. The storm then picked up speed, headed northeast and eventually spawned tornadoes in Virginia.

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday reminded North Carolinians to avoid flooded roads and be alert for rising rivers even as the sun begins to shine across the state.

“Days after Florence first hit our state, we continue to feel the effects of this massive storm,” Gov. Cooper said. “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.”

As of early Tuesday afternoon, the NC Department of Transportation reported approximately 1,050 road closures – including interstates 95 and 40, numerous highways and other primary routes in North Carolina – due to flooding and debris.

As of 3 p.m., more than 301,297 people in North Carolina were without power, and those figures were fluctuating as utility crews worked to restore electricity to customers throughout the state.

First responders have reported rescuing and evacuating 2,200 people and almost 600 animals from flooded areas so far, and rescues are ongoing. The governor said state, local and federal teams have been able to get supplies through to many in need, including some communities that are surrounded by water.

More than 15,000 people have sought refuge in 144 shelters, including mega-shelters at Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hundreds came to Winston-Salem and sought refuge in  the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is available for donations to support North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Florence. Go to Winston-Salem City Council members suggested donating to the N.C. Disaster Relief Fund by also texting “Florence” to 20222 and giving blood to the Red Cross to help with the rescue and recovery efforts on the coast.

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