Hurricane Florence slams east coast, death toll rises

Reanna Comiso, Features Editor

Though Hurricane Florence weakened in strength before it made landfall on the east coast, at least 42 people died as a result of the storm, according to a CBS report. Thirty-one deaths occurred in North Carolina, with nine in South Carolina and two in Virginia.

Hurricane Florence hit the east coast early morning on Sept. 14 causing life-threatening damage. North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia received the most damage thus far.

Severe flooding will continue in the wake of Florence, with some places receiving as much as 3 feet of rainfall. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster estimated the damage from flooding at $1.2 billion at this time. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper stated 700 roads will remain closed ,and vehicle usage is discouraged until flooding subsides.

While most of the heavy rain is over, flooding will worsen in South Carolina as the rainwater heads downstream to the ocean.

Meteorologists anticipated Florence’s arrival in early September, prompting mandatory evacuations for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Officials ordered around 1 million  people to evacuate, but not all followed the orders.

The three states were placed into a State of Emergency on Sept. 7-8 in anticipation of Florence and have yet to be lifted. The storm was anticipated to be a category 4-5 hurricane but was demoted to tropical storm level. The damage is still severe.

The overall damage done by Florence is estimated at $17 billion to $22 billion, according to CBS, placing Florence in the top 10 most expensive hurricanes to date. There have also been hundreds of reports of price-gouging on necessities like water and gas since the storm was announced.

Dozens of organizations are accepting donations for the victims of Hurricane Florence. The food, water and other necessities will go to affected areas.

World Central Kitchen, who are already doing restoration work for the affected areas, are accepting donations online. World Hope International is also accepting donations online or by calling 888-466-HOPE. Other organizations like World Relief, the Humane Society and Direct Relief are accepting donations on their website