Monday, 17 December, 2018

Dam breach retires power plant in North Carolina

A North Carolina Highway Patrol drone captured this image of the I-40 A North Carolina Highway Patrol drone captured this image of the
Andrew Wong | 22 September, 2018, 20:08

That's twice as many people as were saved after Hurricane Matthew.

With muddy river water still washing over entire communities on Friday, eight days after Hurricane Florence slammed into land with almost 3 feet of rain, new evacuation orders forced residents to flee to higher ground amid a sprawling disaster that's beginning to feel like it will never end.

A dam breach in North Carolina is threatening to pollute a large river with toxic coal ash from a power station.

Leaders in the Carolinas warned residents not to get complacent, warning additional horrors lie ahead before things get much better. He said he plans to travel to Brunswick and Columbus counties later today by air and ground to see more devastation brought by the storm.

Flooding could begin early next week, officials said during a community meeting on Thursday, as water continues to drain into rivers and reservoirs across North and SC.

In South Carolina, emergency managers ordered about 3,000 people to flee homes along the Lynches River.

A week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, the trillions of gallons of water it dumped over the Carolinas are slowly moving toward the sea and leaving a path of destruction behind.

In Lee's Landing, a community in Horry County, a county of 290,000 people on the Atlantic Coast that includes Myrtle Beach, residents have started to evacuate by boat as the Waccamaw River continues to flood over its banks and spill into neighborhoods, a local CBS affiliate reported.

To the north in Georgetown County, water continued to drain into the five rivers and several reservoirs that run through the county of 60,000 people as officials prepared to hand out thousands of sandbags on Saturday.

Hurricane Florence has claimed 31 lives in North Carolina, by the state's count.

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State-owned utility Santee Cooper in SC is placing an inflatable dam around a coal ash pond near Conway, saying the extra 2.5 feet (76 centimeters) should be enough to keep floodwaters out.

About 25 miles (40 kilometers) nearer to the SC coast, Kevin Tovornik tore out carpet and removed furniture as a preventative measure because he expected flooding at the house he has owned for 20 years in Conway, where the Waccamaw River was still rising.

In Conway, South Carolina, authorities said residents could see damage in homes that have not flooded before.

The ash left over from coal burned to generate electricity contains an array of chemicals, including mercury, lead, arsenic and other toxic heavy metals.

Roads also were a major problem in Wilmington, a city of 120,000 people still mostly cut off from the rest of North Carolina.

"The company believes that ash in the 1971 ash basin remains in place behind a steel wall separating the excavation area from the cooling lake", Duke Energy said.

Mike Sprayberry, director of the state's emergency management office, said at the Saturday news conference that several rivers continue to flood, including the Cape Fear River in Pender County and the Lumber River in Robeson County.

The storm churned into North Carolina on September 14, bringing storm surge, flooding, and intense rainfall.

"Please heed the safety messages", said state Highway Patrol Col. Glenn McNeill, who oversee the agency's troopers.

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