Florence dumps heavy rain on Carolinas, kills 7

Erika Navarro 3D weather

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

Early on Friday, South Carolina emergency officials said there was still time, "but not a lot of time" for people to leave flood-prone areas.

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.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

As Hurricane Florence spins inland, environmental regulators are monitoring more than three dozen toxic waste sites in the storm's path, as well as scores of low-lying water- and sewage-treatment plants at risk of flooding. The storms slow and parallel movement to the coastline created several bands of heavy rain, capable of producing 2 to 4 inches of rain per hour, sitting over the same locations for essentially the last day and a half. As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the storm's center was about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, according to the National Hurricane Center. Isolated areas could see as much as 40 inches.

Hurricane Florence, the vast storm meteorologists and astronauts alike have been tracking, made landfall this morning (Sept. 14) near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Police confirmed the fatalities on Twitter, saying the father of the child was being transported to a local medical centre to be treated for his injuries. Downed trees blocked the road, making it impossible for paramedics to get to her.

"Seeing them get out of the auto and seeing their emotions was heartbreaking", he said.

One man died after attempting to hook up a generator according to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office.

Onslow County spokesman Cornelius Jordan said some visitors at the Triangle Motor Inn were able to drive away on their own, but emergency personnel had to take others to a safe location.

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The city of Jacksonville's statement says people have been moved to the city's public safety center as officials work to find a more permanent shelter. Details about those deaths weren't immediately available.

The rising sea crept toward the two-story home of Tom Copeland, who lives on a spit of land surrounded by water in Swansboro.

President Trump approved a major disaster declaration for North Carolina on Saturday, freeing up federal funding for affected areas. But the water kept rising.

As they waited for emergency workers, they heard neighbors screaming for help.

"Hurricanes normally come in and they go inland, which sucks the power out of them as they go over the land", he said. He said it was a testament to the close calls around the city. Eventually, a volunteer rescue team from IN arrived with a boat and rescued them.

"The size of the tree is not something you could simply cut with a chainsaw and remove and then quickly extricate", he said.

USA immigration officials say they won't do any active enforcement during evacuations or in shelters during Hurricane Florence.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and into the northeastern coast of SC in spots.

As it moves near OH and West Virginia, it will become a remnant low.

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