More than a week after Hurricane Florence struck the eastern U.S. states of North and South Carolina, authorities are warning that many areas remain at risk from overflowing rivers swollen by the storm's heavy rainfall.
Authorities in Georgetown, South Carolina, located about 200 kilometers southeast from the capital Columbia, have put as many as 8,000 residents on alert for possible evacuations, as they expect two local rivers, the Waccamaw and Pee Dee, to spill over from their banks. Emergency shelters are being opened Monday to house residents who are forced to escape an expected 3 meters of floodwaters.
Meanwhile, the Cape Fear River in North Carolina is expected to crest and reach flood levels sometime on Monday, and continue to overflow for several more days. Parts of Interstates 95 and 40, two of the major highways that run through the state, have begun to reopen after being underwater during the onslaught of Hurricane Florence. But on one section of Interstate 40, firefighters had to hose off thousands of dead fish washed out of the flooded rivers and stranded on the pavement.
Florence dumped as much as 90 centimeters of rain on the Carolinas last week, and killed at least 43 people there and in the neighboring state of Virginia. Preliminary estimates say the storm caused tens of billions of dollars in damages.