How do you measure a disaster like Florence? In sum, the storm is turning out to be every bit as devastating as forecasters expected, and it's far from done, with trillions of gallons of rain in the forecast, hundreds of people needing rescue, nearly a million power outages and several deaths, the AP reports. Thousands of people have been told they still faced "imminent danger" from flooding. The economic toll remains to be tallied. By the numbers:
- Storm deaths: At least 7 people have died, including a mother and infant who died when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, NC. Read about the other deaths at the AP.
- Heavy rains: Up to 18 trillion gallons falling on seven states over seven days, as much water as there is the entire Chesapeake Bay.
- So far: Nearly 31 inches of rain was reported in Swansboro, on the North Carolina coast, and forecasters Saturday expected another 15 inches in parts of the Carolinas.
- In the dark: About 900,000 outages as of Saturday morning, mostly in North Carolina.
- Protected: More than 20,000 people in shelters in North Carolina, 6,400 in South Carolina, and 400 in Virginia.
- Grounded: More than 2,400 flights canceled.
- Potential losses: Estimated $10 billion to $60 billion in economic damages
- Rescued: More than 500 people needed help in high waters in New Bern and Jacksonville, NC.
On a brighter note, the AP reports that many residents who evacuated North Carolina's Outer Banks ahead of Florence are making their way back onto the barrier islands, which were spared from the worst of the storm's wrath.
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