Florence, a wet and unwanted visitor, besieges Carolinas

North Carolina TV station evacuates because of rising water

North Carolina TV station evacuates because of rising water

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

"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC.

WILMINGTON: Florence barreled into the Carolina coast and moved inland on Friday, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

The 18th century town, with a population of 30,000, has been badly flooded, with 4,200 homes damaged.

Cooper warned against such behaviour as roads become increasingly unsafe.

"That's a decision I had to make", he said.

Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power.

It said those amounts could result in life-threatening flash floods and river flooding.

But in North Carolina rivers were swelling towards record levels, forecasters warned, and thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in state history.

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Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said. "We still have about 100 that want to be rescued and we have about 1,200 in the shelters", Mayor Dana Outlaw told CNN. "Citizens also should anticipate power outages at their homes or businesses, which may last for several days".

"The main thing right now is to get this water pumped down" from the city, he said. "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".

After blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90mph winds, Florence virtually parked itself much of the weekend over the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore. SC recorded its first death from the storm when officials said a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

The casualties include a mother and baby who were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders.

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her.

"Maybe the communities of color that are expected to feel the greatest burden of a disaster like this don't have time to have a conversation like this with the media because they're fighting for their lives, they're fighting for their very survival", she said.

Two people in Lenoir County were killed: a 78-year-old Kinston man who was electrocuted when connecting extension cords in the rain and a 77-year-old man who was blown down by the wind when he went to check on his hunting dogs.

Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump an "epic" amount of rainfall on the U.S. state.

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