Florence lumbers inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded, World News & Top Stories

Wilmington NC tree

Wilmington NC tree

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

The National Hurricane Center has revealed its latest projections for Tropical Storm Florence.

"The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it ... made landfall 24 hours ago", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday morning.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters. "Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".

As much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain could fall on coastal areas in North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said.

The death toll is seven and is expected to rise.

Authorities also confirmed a 78-year-old man's body was found outside by family after being electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain. And a man was blown away by strong winds while outside checking on his dogs.

Local authorities reported a death in Pender County when downed trees prevented emergency units from reaching a woman with a medical condition.

The total extent of devastation from Florence, which has turned from a hurricane into a tropical storm, remains unknown as rain and flooding continue to wreak havoc in the Carolinas.

But the wind is not the main threat to people and property from the storm; it's thestorm surgeandrainfall, which combined have caused serious flooding in the low-lying coastal regions of the Carolinas.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the USA electricity sector has been well prepared for Hurricane Florence even as hundreds of thousands of homes lose power in the storm. "We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns".

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

"Flood waters are rising, & if you aren't watching for them, you are risking life".

New Bern, home to approximately 30,000 people, sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville on the banks of the Neuse River.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 964,000 customers in that state and SC.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion litres), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimetres). That means the storm could easily drop 40 inches of rain in some spots.

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.

The storm made landfall on Friday near Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 squeezed between North Carolina's Atlantic coastline and the Cape Fear River. "Nobody expected this", a rescued resident, Tom Ballance, toldThe Weather Channel.

Volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team help rescue three children from their flooded home September 14, 2018 in James City, United States. Nicholas Digregorio and his wife Danielle are stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

23 aviation rescues, and counting.

60 primary roads have been closes, with more closures expected.

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