'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas

Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas tears buildings apart

Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas tears buildings apart

Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

Entire communities could be "wiped away" by historic flooding, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday. "We didn't know where to go", she said.

The Wilmington Police Department said that the mother and her infant were killed on September 14, when the tree fell on their house; the infant's father was rushed to the hospital with injuries.

According to authorities, one person was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", Ballance said. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

Hurricane Florence edged closer to the east coast of the U.S. on Thursday, with tropical-force winds and rain already lashing barrier islands just off the North Carolina mainland.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days". Gigi Charlebois, owner of the Edenton Coffee House on the northern shore of North Carolina's Albemarle Sound, chose to stay with her family overnight in the shop's dining room, sleeping on couches, pull-out cots and a mattress.

The National Hurricane Center said a gauge north of Wilmington in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, reported 1.92 metres of inundation.

While Florence's strength has decreased slightly to sustained winds of 45 miles per hour, Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday afternoon warned that the storm's dangers had just begun as rivers in central and eastern North Carolina continue to rise and roads continued to close.

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras. Forecasters say it could become a depression by Saturday night.

Meteorologists warned it might be days and weeks after Florence's direct hit before the town sees rising water levels.

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Five people, including a mother and her baby, have been killed by Florence, which was initially categorised as a hurricane with 120mph winds.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

In downtown Myrtle Beach, branches from palm trees lined the main street.

"The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a briefing.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

The video shows The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel reporting from Wilmington in North Carolina, USA, reports AJC.

New Bern, which has a population of about 30,000, was once the capital of the state's colonial government.

The New Bern Police Department tweeted early Thursday evening "City of New Bern officials are encouraging all residents to shelter in place due to Hurricane Florence". "We're going to have to have patience, we're going to have to be careful and we're going to have to deal with a lot of water".

"What happens is that we rescue some people and then we find out there are still more who need it", Outlaw said.

FEMA teams were employing boats in the rescues and were determining which cases were the most severe.

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