Florence weakens to depression, flood risk rises

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

According to the National Hurricane Centre, the storm will travel through upstate SC, be downgraded to a tropical depression, then turn north toward the Ohio Valley.

Top sustained winds are now about 100 km/h and the storm is moving to the west-southwest at 7 km/h - a track that is expected to continue through early Saturday.

This is the weird moment a TV weatherman appeared to be caught faking his battle against gale-force winds during Storm Florence.

View of Florence in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday.

Although the storm is passing north of Myrtle Beach, the concern now is that river water from North Carolina will flow into the area and combine with all the water that is already there.

In Beaufort, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported Friday night that the storm was still lashing the city.

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A spokesperson for the ABC affiliate said roads around the building were flooding. The Little River, the Cape Fear, the Lumber, the Neuse, the Waccamaw and the Pee Dee were all projected to rise over their banks, flooding cities and towns. It's about 90 miles northeast of Wrightsville Beach, where Florence made landfall at 7:15 a.m. September 14.

Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power.

West-central Virginia into far eastern West Virginia, north of Roanoke and west of Charlottesville, 3 to 6 inches, isolated 8 inches.

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.

The national meteorological center says southern China "will face a severe test caused by wind and rain" and urged officials to prepare for possible disasters.

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"You see the water coming", he said. The Army Corps of Engineers was preparing to start work restoring power, installing temporary roofing and removing debris. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore. It was moving west at 3 miles per hour, the National Weather Service said.

The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to dump an additional 30-40 inches of rain along the North Carolina coast and produce flash flooding.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting evacuation orders for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and the Edisto Beach area of Colleton County effective at noon Saturday.

In Washington, President Donald Trump was briefed by telephone Saturday on Florence's impact.

"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall, in some places measured in feet and not inches", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news briefing. "We're trying to educate and protect Floridians so they don't fall victim to Irma for a second time".

Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas as it nears landfall
North Carolina emergency management officials said more than 600,000 customers in North Carolina were without power. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and the rain and storm surge will make Florence extremely risky .


"DEQ has been closely monitoring all coal ash impoundments that could be vulnerable in this record breaking rain event", Thorpe said.

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