North Carolina governor: We saw ‘significant damage’ in eastern part of state

Katie Ramirez
September 17, 2018

The center said it expects the storm to move across the western part of SC and North Carolina, then move north over the Ohio River valley and toward the northeastern United States on Monday and Tuesday.

At least 10 people have died so far in the storm in North Carolina, including a mother and child killed by a falling tree, state officials said.

Florence also now stands as the sixth-highest tropical cyclone rainfall total across the US for records dating back to 1950.

In Fayetteville, a North Carolina city of about 210,000 people about 90 miles inland, authorities told thousands of residents near the Cape Fear River and Little River to get out of their homes by Sunday afternoon because of the flood risk.

Catastrophic floods raised the threat of dam breaks and landslides across the Carolinas on Sunday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more than a dozen dead and billions of dollars in damage in the southeastern United States.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper earlier told reporters "the strongest storm bands are dumping two to three inches of rain (5 - 7.5 centimeters) per hour" over regions that had already received up to two feet of rain.

The death toll rose to at least 18 as North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned: "The storm has never been more risky than it is right now".

South Carolina's governor issued a similar warning, urging anyone in a flood-prone area to evacuate.

The National Weather Service on Friday said the storm could dump 2 to 4 inches of rain as it moves across Pennsylvania from southwest to northeast.

The Buzz | Tropical bands from Florence begin lashing Carolinas
Serious flooding was also reported in SC , and several coastal communities were placed under nighttime curfews during the storm. A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 metres) high as Florence churned toward shore.

A baby boy is among 17 people killed as rain and flooding from storm Florence continues to cause chaos in the US.

More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state.

Four-year-old Iva Williamson, centre, joins neighbours and pets in fleeing rising floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Leland, N.C. Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence is still massive. "We want you home but you can't come yet".

30-year-old Rhonda R. Hartley died early Sunday after driving a pickup truck into standing water near Gilbert, South Carolina, losing control and hitting a tree, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

"As the storm begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear".

Floodwaters were rising near businesses in LaGrange, N.C., as Tropical Storm Florence pounded the area, September 15, 2018. "We continue to patrol the area, but people have already been through Matthew hurricane and know what to expect", he told AFP.

"There's mud all over the floor and the wood floors have buckled", she said, adding they planned to return to her brother's house because of the musty smell that pervades their home. Wind gusts could reach 30 miles per hour.

A total of about 761,000 homes and businesses were without power on Sunday in North and SC and surrounding states, down from a peak of almost 1 million.

President Donald Trump tweeted late Saturday that "five deaths have been recorded thus far", and expressed sympathy to the victims' families.

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