Tropical Storm Eta, which was once a, is dumping heavy rain on the Carolinas and Virginia. Homes and roads are flooded, and bridges have buckled, at least four people are dead, dozens have had to be rescued and several are unaccounted for.
The flooding was so fast and severe at a campground, rising waters left three people dead and at least 31 people who were trapped had to be rescued. Some parts of the Carolinas saw 3 to 7 inches of rainfall.
Rescuers are racing against the clock searching for several missing people presumably swept away by flooding, including a one-year-old baby.
The heavy rain and floods that engulfed the state washed out bridges with abandoned cars, creating mudslides and road accidents and left families stranded. In one instance, a WJZY news reporter was live on camera when the bridge she was on started to collapse.
The water rose so fast, vehicles at a North Carolina elementary school were completely submerged and 143 people had to be evacuated.
“Approximately 50 roadways across the county have been compromised with four bridges that have washed away. We have had multiple swift water rescue personnel,” said Doug Gillespie, the county director of public services.
Eta battered Latin America and Southern Miami earlier this week and Tampa overnight, where the storm washed boats ashore.
Although it was not the most powerful storm to hit the U.S. this year, Eta still had a broad impact across the South and was linked to at least one death in the Tampa Bay region.
With very little time to prepare or warning of the strength of the storm, families caught in Eta were left with an uncertain future.
“It blows your mind that there’s someone you love and they are lost in the water,” one North Carolina resident said.
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