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'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas

16 September 2018

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.

WILMINGTON, N.C., Sept 15 (Reuters) - Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.

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

That's about 220 miles from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. September 14, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can". "Work will begin when conditions safely allow", the company said on its website on Saturday. "There is probably not a county or a person that will not be affected in some way by this very massive and violent storm".

And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported. These rains are expected to produce "prolonged, significant river flooding".

Travel is extremely hazardous because of storm surge, Trogdon said, and will only get worse.

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.

As a top producer of hogs, North Carolina faces the distinct possibility of getting inundated with nasty pollutants through hog feces that overflow into Florence's floodwaters. SC recorded its first death from the storm, with officials saying a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

More than 800,000 customers in North Carolina were without power and 21,000 people were being housed in 157 shelters across the state. "Don't drive across standing or moving water", the governor said, urging people to heed evacuation orders. Also, a 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said, and the governor's office said a man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain.

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.

Multiple deaths have been linked to Hurricane Florence, which has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. The Category 1 storm is expected to move further across parts of North Carolina and South Carolina Friday and Saturday.

A mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The video had been viewed more than 3.6 million times and had received nearly 60,000 retweets as of Friday evening.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern. Trump planned a visit to the region next week.

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence almost stalls over Carolinas