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Death toll from Florence rises to 7, North Carolina officials say

15 September 2018

The hurricane was also deadly, killing five people. The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

The fifth death, indirectly linked to the storm, occurred in Pender County's Hampstead community, Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins told WWAY.

The centre of the slow-moving storm, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane after it came ashore Friday afternoon, was almost stalled over SC early Saturday, about 55 kilometres west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 8 km/h and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea. It hit the coast as a Category 1 storm with 90 miles per hour maximum sustained winds, the NWS said.

"Inland flooding kills a lot of people unfortunately and that's what we're about to see".

Maysie Baumgardner, 7, and her family sheltered at the Hotel Ballast in downtown Wilmington as Florence filled the streets with floodwaters.

It already had, in Beaufort County and its capital city, Washington, where 300 people were rescued from flooded homes.

"It has slowed", he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump stands by tweets questioning Puerto Rico death toll: "NO WAY" Trump pushes back on ex-lawyer putting out book, cites "attorney-client privilege" Wealthiest Republican supporter in OH quits party MORE has approved a disaster declaration for North Carolina as the state deals with Tropical Storm Florence, the White House announced Saturday.

But the size of the storm meant the path didn't really matter.

"Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center".

Florence is moving inland at 10 kilometers per hour (6 mph), giving it more time to churn, suck up water, batter the coast, and bring massive amounts of rain inland.

The rising waters of the Pungo River caused dozens of residents to be rescued from the town of Belhaven, which had become engulfed by the raging storm. And others could only hope someone would come for them. "Florence's 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay", its article says.

Power outages increased throughout Friday.

More than 400 people had to be rescued from their homes or vehicles and some 20,000 were taking refuge in shelters across North and SC and Virginia. Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said.

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.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods.

If you're anxious about flooding away from the coast, then the Southeast River Forecast Center is your go-to stop.

"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", Cooper said. Five hundred National Guard troops had responded to calls by 11 a.m. Friday.

"This is going to be a very trying period for the state", he said."We're liable to have flash floods, bridges and roads washed out". "The greatest storm surge inundation is expected between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers and western Pamlico Sound", the agency said. He called the rain an event that comes along only once every 1,000 years.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Mr Cooper said. "Catastrophic flooding, long term major river flooding, life-threatening storm surge, and wind damage are occurring or imminent".

"These are folks who made a decision to stay and ride out the storm for whatever reason, despite having a mandatory evacuation", city public information officer Colleen Roberts said.

Death toll from Florence rises to 7, North Carolina officials say