NEW HANOVER UPDATES: Florence swamps county

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Heavy rains overnight lead to dozens of water rescues; roads closed across the county

***For a recap of Saturday in New Hanover County, click here ***

8 a.m. update: Florence swamps county

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — After a harrowing night of tornado warnings and heavy rains, New Hanover County residents awoke to standing water on roads throughout the area.

New Hanover and neighboring counties remain under a tornado watch until 5 p.m. Sunday, and a flash flood warning until 1:15 p.m. The National Weather Service is calling for another day of heavy rains.

Overnight, emergency crews and a FEMA task force rescued numerous people from flooded homes and vehicles throughout New Hanover County. Responders took those rescued to local shelters.

“As was predicted, severe flooding is occurring in our area and more residents are becoming displaced,” a morning news release quoted Steven Still, New Hanover County Emergency Management Director. “We urge people to stay off of the roads to allow our first responders to get to those who have an emergency and allow teams to continue to clear debris.”

Sunday morning, 100,401 county residents remained without electricity.

As of 6 a.m., the New Hanover County Public Information Hotline has been restored after going down overnight. Residents can call 910-798-6800 with non-emergency questions. A backup phone number is also available at 910-620-0860.

The N.C. Department of Transportation reported Sunday that Interstate 40 remains closed between I-95 and Wilmington. Nearly 90 miles of I-95, the state’s major north-south link, also was closed.

Residents took to social media to report flooded and washed out roads across New Hanover County, including parts of Middle Sound Loop Road in Ogden. Water covered several neighborhood roads near Kerr Avenue Sunday and the intersection of South College Road and Wrightsville Avenue. Deep water on New Center Drive trapped at least two cars, which were left abandoned Sunday morning.

An emergency briefing from the county is tentatively scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

— Cammie Bellamy

>>READ MORE: Click here for complete coverage of Hurricane Florence.