Florence expected to weaken as flood risk rises

FLORENCE SC- SEPTEMBER 14 A law enforcement officer blocks traffic from a downed tree on rural South Carolina state highway 51

Florence already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds, and the threat is days from ending as remnants of the once major hurricane slowly creep inland across the Carolinas.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland yesterday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.

North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.

"Life-threatening storm surge will continue along portions of the North Carolina coast through today, and also along the Neuse and Pamlico Sound, where rainfall and fresh water flooding will also contribute to high water levels", the update read.

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help people to higher ground after rescuing them from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in James City, North Carolina. Dozens more were rescued from a collapsed motel.

A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding.

That kind of scenario is likely to repeat itself all over communities in Eastern North Carolina, as swollen rivers flood towns and the pouring rain adds to the misery.

Police in Wilmington, North Carolina, tweeted that a mother and infant died when a tree fell on their house; the baby's father was injured.

Florence weakens to Category 1 hurricane: NHC
National Guard marched in and out of a room nearest the main entrance, their camouflage uniforms standing out in the drab room. Catastrophic rainfall is expected to accompany the hurricane's 110 miles per hour winds. "There is going to be a lot of rain".


- A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.

The video generated a series of mixed reactions from people on social media, with many calling out the journalist for allegedly overstating the impact of the storm.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

At 2300 EDT (0300 GMT), the NHC said Florence had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 km), and was slowly drifting westward over SC. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

In Pender County, officials said that a woman died of a heart attack Friday morning as emergency crews tried to reach her; they were delayed because of downed trees and debris in the road.

As of 11 p.m., Florence was centered about 40 miles east-southeast of Columbia, South Carolina, amd crawling west at 3 mph - not even as fast as a person walking.

Atlantic Beach on North Carolina's Outer Banks islands had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Survey said. Both states also are at a risk of risky flash floods and river flooding. "I was looking for water moccasins to hit me at any time", he said.

In total, Florence is forecast to dump about18 trillion gallons of rain over North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maryland before the storm is over.

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Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center.

Travel is extremely hazardous because of storm surge, Trogdon said, and will only get worse.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina.

A North Carolina city says about 70 people have been rescued from a hotel whose structural integrity is being threatened by Hurricane Florence. It has three-and-a-half times more storms that reach major hurricane strength of 111 miles per hour, and three times more accumulated energy out of those hurricanes, an index that measures not just strength and number of storms but how long they last, according to more than 65 years of storm data. "It's making it hard for us to move valuable resources to areas in need".

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.

The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs and were left her shaken.

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"I'll grow concerned if the water starts getting close to my truck".

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