7 killed as hurricane Florence pummels Carolinas

7 killed as hurricane Florence pummels Carolinas

Florence will likely weaken as it moves inland, especially on Saturday (Sept. 15) as it moves over SC, according to National Hurricane Center predictions.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

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

Brenda Bethune told NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning that public safety crews have been checking to make sure businesses are secure, and looking for anything that could become a projectile as the winds come ashore.

As of 8 a.m., Florence was located about 35 miles outside of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and was moving west at just 2 mph. Then it is likely to hover along the coast Saturday, pushing up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) of storm surge and unloading water on both states.

At least four people have died since Hurricane Florence crashed into the coast Friday and almost stalled.

Florence continued to produce tropical-storm-force wind of up to 50 miles per hour Saturday, though gradual weakening is forecast as it moves farther inland over the next several days.

North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper said: "Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood".

USA media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as a Category 1 with winds less than 100mph, but that is still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage. Another man in Lenoir County was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain, according to Cooper's office.

"I said, 'Why get on the road like this?" The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach. The storm is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour (27 kph).

Five people are known to have died as the massive weather system knocked down trees, flooded rivers, and dumped sheets of rain in the Carolinas.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said storm surge warnings have not changed despite the weakening intensity of the winds. Floyd produced 24 inches (61 cm) of rain in some parts of North Carolina while Florence already has dumped about 30 inches (76 cm) in areas around Swansboro, North Carolina, with more on the way.

Officials in New Bern, a town dating to the early 18th century whose downtown area was under water, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods on Friday, with 60 to 75 people awaiting rescue on Saturday. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. More than 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to clear out.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. "If God's coming for you, you can't run from him". "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighborhood during Florences assault. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctors appointment that was later canceled. Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds besieged by the rising waters.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

Schoolteacher Leslie Ochoa said she and her family loaded up 10 adults, 5 children, 14 goats, 10 dogs, two cats and one guinea pig and evacuated from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina last Tuesday.

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