Florence 'unloading epic amounts of rainfall' in North Carolina


The Florence center is crawling inland over SC, but its main rain bands are hitting already-saturated North Carolina - setting up what may be days of flooding for some communities. As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

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.

Zooming out to the full projection, shown above, the core of the storm is slated to enter North Carolina around 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way. "Work will begin when conditions safely allow", the company said on its website on Saturday.

Blowing ashore with howling 90 miles per hour (155 kph) winds, Hurricane Florence splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast Friday in what could be just the opening act in a watery, two-part, slow-motion disaster.

With flood waters advancing rapidly in many communities, stranded people were being rescued by boat and by helicopter, while tens of thousands of others hunkered down in shelters.

"The rainfall is epic and will continue to be", Cooper said.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said. "If you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life".

Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".

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Florence is still a unsafe storm and is linked to at least five deaths so far. More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury. Tap water typically gets contaminated by sewage treatment systems and septic systems becoming flooded, destroying their ability to filter out animal or human fecal pathogens; before drinking water or using it to brush teeth, boil it first (local and state health officials may have additional requirements depending on the contaminant). They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades. Mike Doll, Senior Meteorologist at Accuweather said the winds will continue to slow down over the weekend and the main problem moving forward will be flooding due to heavy rains.

The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to 11.

In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Saturday announced the death of a 61-year-old woman who died when her auto hit a downed tree on a highway. A 78-year-old man was killed while trying to connect extension cords outside in the rain, ABC News reported, citing Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from Wilmington police.

Russ Lewis covers his eyes from a gust of wind and a blast of sand as Hurricane Florence approaches Myrtle Beach, S.C., on September 14, 2018. It's expected to move westward through SC into Sunday morning and then curve up toward North Carolina. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

President Trump's disaster declaration for eight North Carolina counties frees up federal funding including grants for property repairs and low-priced loans to cover uninsured losses. "Dangerous storm surge could also affect portions of the northeast coast of SC coast today". Trump planned a visit to the region next week.