Florence dumps heavy rain on Carolinas, kills 7

Paul Anthony Menchaca.         Source Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Flash flooding has spread into Raleigh and will expand over Charlotte as well, where flash flood advisories are in effect.

Members of the North Carolina National Guard finish stacking sand bags under a highway overpass near the Lumber River which is expected to flood from Hurricane Florence's rain in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper described the storm as "an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

Onslow County spokesman Cornelius Jordan said some visitors at the Triangle Motor Inn were able to drive away on their own, but emergency personnel had to take others to a safe location. "But I think we're ready".

As Hurricane Storm Florence lashed through the Carolinas with howling winds and heavy rain, one reporter was captured attempting to keep it together as winds appeared to lash at him, but was mocked when two people were seen walking behind him with little difficulty.

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.

Two people also died in Harkers Island, North Carolina, on Friday, Carteret County Director of Emergency Services Stephen Rea said Saturday.

He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown.

Florence has left at least seven people dead, including a mother and her child who died after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina, police said.

The No. 1 mission right now, Cooper said, is to save lives.


New Bern has been one of the hardest hit areas by Florence, experiencing a 10-and-a-half-foot storm surge.

"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said.

Nearly 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks.

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. Numerous calls are from residents who are trapped in their homes, some of whom reported floodwater rising up to the second floor.

"The same places have seen all of this water, and the same places will see more water", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Saturday morning.

Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.

Forecasters said conditions will deteriorate as the storm pushes ashore early Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and makes its way slowly inland. The agency adds that people trapped by flooding should "never enter attics or crawl spaces".

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), but a gust of 112 miles per hour (180 kph) was reported just offshore.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving west at 2 mph (3.2 kph), with its center located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina Friday morning, bringing howling winds up to 90 miles per hour, reports The Associated Press. Significant weakening is expected over the weekend.

Hurricane Florence, weakened but still unsafe, has crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge.

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