Doncaster's twin town Wilmington cut off by Florence floods as 31 die

Doncaster's American twin town of Wilmington has been cut off after being swamped by Florence floods which have seen 31 people die.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 10:32 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 09:42 am

The coastal city, which is home to 120,000, has been turned into an island after heavy flooding caused by the storm which has been battering the East Coast of the United States over the last few days.

The death toll has risen to at least 31 with 24 deaths confirmed in North Carolina including several in Wilmington.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm. (Photo: NASA).

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The state's governor, Roy Cooper, said on Monday that the "epic storm" was still an immediate danger as rivers reach major flood levels.

Officials have warned evacuated residents to stay away and at a news conference on Monday, Gov Cooper said "catastrophic flooding and tornados are still claiming lives and property" across the state.

"For many parts of North Carolina the danger is still immediate," he said. "Some areas have not seen the worst flooding yet. This is a monumental disaster for our state."

An initial estimate from Moody's Analytics puts the cost of Florence between $17bn (£13bn) and $22bn, making the storm one of the 10 costliest hurricanes in US history.

In Wilmington some 400 people have had to be rescued from flood waters, and most of the city remains without power.

The governor said that 23 truckloads of supplies were able to make it into Wilmington this morning, though officials are uncertain whether the single road into the city will remain functional as rivers continue to flood.

The National Weather Service has warned of at least two further days of possible flash flooding in the area before conditions are forecast to improve.

A city-wide curfew has been extended after five people were arrested on suspicion of looting from a store on Saturday.

The area is usually best known as a filming location for US dramas One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek, and as the childhood home of US basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Wilmington, which has a population of 120,000 and has been twinned with Doncaster since 1989.

Wilmington Drive, which runs alongside the Lakeside Village shopping centre in Doncaster and nearby Carolina Way are named after the city and state.