SC Response to Florence Transitions to Flood Preparation

Flag affected by Hurricane Florence

McMaster had ordered residents in most of the state's coastal counties to evacuate ahead of Florence's arrival.

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system. "For overall damage, it would be hard, at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm".

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of risky storm surges and "catastrophic flooding".

The storm's extremely slow speed means the risk of catastrophic flooding remains high across both states.

Some towns have already had more than 60-centimetres of rain, and forecasters warn that totals could hit one-metre.

Since the storm began, weather experts gave already recorded more than 20 inches of rain in southeastern North Carolina.

On its Facebook page, the county said the evacuation was in effect along the Lower Little River near the Cumberland County line. Flood stage is 18 feet.

The river is forecast to reach flood stage sometime after 2 a.m. Sunday.

The White House announced that President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina, which will make federal money available to people in the counties of Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said.

Seven emergency shelters are open in the county.

Tropical Storm Florence keeps drenching the central Carolinas and is expected to generate up to 380 millimetres of rain before it swings north over the Appalachian Mountains and into the Ohio Valley on Monday.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC.

Water could reach as high as 5ft in some areas.

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He said flooding will continue for days and the full magnitude of the hurricane is unknown.

As of noon, Emerald Isle had more than 23 inches of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot.

The National Hurricane Center says top sustained winds have dropped to near 50 miles per hour (80 kph) with higher gusts, and Florence is expected to become a tropical depression later Saturday.

That's just the number of customers without power in the Carolinas. With half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski: "Strength, track and forward speed of Florence will be the major players in determining the scope and amount of rainfall and correspondingly the severity of inland flooding".

A man was killed when plugging in a generator, according to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper's office. The storm is some 400 miles (645 kilometers) wide.

Members of Onslow County emergency look to see if a passenger was still in a auto that was overtaken by flooding on US Route 17 outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina.

With flood waters advancing rapidly in many communities, stranded people were being rescued by boat and by helicopter, while tens of thousands of others hunkered down in shelters.

Hurricane Florence delivered a slow-motion assault to the coast of North Carolina early Friday, with catastrophic storm surge and torrential rains that will continue for days.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane.

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

This nightmare called Tropical Storm Florence is far from over.

Water rescues were continuing on Saturday.

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