A.M. Update: Prolonged rain will bring floods

WATCH: Weather Channel Reporter Caught Allegedly Dramatizing Hurricane Winds, Gets Slammed Online

WATCH: Weather Channel Reporter Caught Allegedly Dramatizing Hurricane Winds, Gets Slammed Online

"The flood danger from storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hrs ago", North Carolina Emergency Management said on Twitter. The flash flooding could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges. "Don't drive across standing or moving water", the governor said, urging people to heed evacuation orders.

Water was rising Saturday morning in a flood plain near the Waccamaw River, lapping up against homes and pooling over at least one main road.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property. The ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including lead and arsenic. The number of counties getting this level of help is likely to increase.

A 73-mile stretch of the highway closed Saturday because of flooding and an accident involving a tractor-trailer.

Mackie rode in a boat through a flooded neighborhood, navigating through trees and past a fence post to get to the Knox house.

"They definitely need to be prepared." he said. "If not we'd be stuck upstairs for the next. how long? I have no idea". Officials in the town of 30,000, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

The H.F. Lee Power Station near Goldsboro has three inactive ash basins that flooded during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, exposing a small amount of coal ash that may have flowed into the nearby Neuse River.

Early Saturday, approximately 20 people were rescued near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, by military officials and delivered to the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department before being transferred to Onslow County shelters.

Wildlife also found itself directly affected by Florence's floodwaters, including these deer seen swimming through neck-deep water.

In South Carolina, a 62-year-old woman died when her auto hit a tree that had fallen across a road in the town of Union.

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

Cozine packed his belongings and went up the street to a relative's house, but said if the water continues rising at the current rate, they will have to evacuate. He says that "over the years the state government and the federal government have become very coordinated in their ability to manage the pre-deployment of assets (and) the response to the citizens of those states, and we will soon be into the recovery".

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit hurricane-hit areas next week "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts". "May God be with them!"

Florence's flooding claims a couple of cars and the first story of a house in New Bern, NC.

"It was tough. Wobbling".

"With a storm like this, you have communities that are faced not only with the devastation that a storm like this will leave behind, but the environmental injustices that may have already been existing in those communities", Glover said. "Everything is soaking wet", Katherine King said.

Parts of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC could see another foot or more of rain over the weekend, according to National Weather Service. Newport, N.C., has already accumulated 23.7 inches.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

Stream gauges across the region showed water levels steadily rising, with forecasts calling for rivers to crest Sunday and Monday at or near record levels.

On Saturday morning, Gov. Roy Cooper echoed Smith, saying that residents faced "walls of water" along the coast and rivers.

Then it will swing to the northeast in the middle of next week on a path to the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia, where it will be an extra-tropical low with gale-force winds.

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