Hurricane Florence trudges on, leaving flooding and destruction

Jonathan Griffin hangs an American Flag on his boat after Hurricane Florence hit Davis N.C.,Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

Tropical depression Florence has passed over the coast and is now moving northwest, leaving grief and a mess behind it.

According to NPR at noon on Monday, the death toll in North Carolina and South Carolina has risen to 23 due to flooding rivers and 2,600 people and more than 300 animals have been rescued by emergency teams. The Weather Channel reported that workers at a nuclear facility are trapped by floodwaters, raising emergency levels at the facility to “unusual event,” which is the lowest level on the scale.

Claire Taylor was a Baylor student in 2009 and 2010. Since then, she has built a career in the medical field. She currently lives in Charlotte, but Florence interrupted her plans to move back to San Antonio.

“All the evacuations and traffic initially delayed us, and then we sat out the storm prior to moving,” Taylor said.

The storm has almost passed over Charlotte, but the city still expects more rain.

Taylor was living in Houston when hurricane Harvey hit, so Florence was even more intimidating for Taylor.

“We lived in south Houston last year whenever hurricane Harvey hit, and Florence was projected to be something very similar,” Taylor said. “As it rolled into town, it was bringing back lots of sad memories of Harvey. The skies darkened and the clouds formed. The storm slowed down to about three miles per hour, which is what made Harvey so devastating in Houston — it just stayed overhead.”

Florence is a similar story. As the hurricane approached the shore, the wind speeds slowed enough that it was downgraded. The coasts are experiencing severe flooding.

Taylor explained that the extra rain Houston experienced as the storm slowed made it destructive to her community. Her home in Houston was 100 feet below sea level in a levee district, so her area had a high risk of flooding. Thankfully this is not the case for her this time around, but just because she escaped flooding does not mean her neighborhood escaped without a scratch. Her neighbor’s tree broke onto his vehicle.

Raven Grant, who we spoke to for the previous article on Florence, says her family is fine, they just have a leak in the roof. As far as she knows, everyone in her hometown of Myrtle Beach is alright.

“There’s just lots of flooding and not much damage,” Grant said. “Schools are still cancelled.”

“Going three or four days without seeing the sun just has a very [negative] psychological effect. I was definitely having flashbacks to Harvey during that time,” Taylor said.

Taylor said she realizes that the coast is in a much different situation from herself.

“I don’t want to trivialize it just because we were okay during the storm,” Taylor said. “I know the people along the coast have been absolutely devastated, and any donation people can make, we request that people put it out there.”