Tropical storm Florence dumps metres of rain on Carolinas

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Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning.

Mayor Dana Outlaw told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that numerous creeks in the area are "increasing by the hour" and there's concern about trees falling due to the saturated ground conditions.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near North Carolina's coast, the storm tore away porch steps, splintered balconies and sent a yacht plowing into a garage that shattered like kindling.

Officials have warned that the storm's low wind speeds shouldn't be interpreted as a weakened threat, as rising flood waters are the biggest danger.

-A 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree near the town of Union, South Carolina, Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Downgraded to a tropical depression, Florence slowly crawled over South and North Carolina, dumping heavy rains on already flood-swollen river basins that authorities warned could bring more death and destruction. He said "if those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters".

In Lenoir County, North Carolina a person died while plugging in a generator.

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By Friday night, the city had received hundreds of calls from trapped residents and was moving on to clean-up operations by Saturday afternoon, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told NBC News.

"Just turn around and don't drown", officials said.

"If you live in a floodplain and planned on staying, you might need to reevaluate", said Joel Cline, a North Carolina native and meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center.

"Hurricane Florence is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days".

Brock Long told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is working to meet the demands of North Carolina officials "as they're coming up to us".

Coastal Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds will likely become bottlenecks, filling with runoff faster than they can drain into the ocean, he said. 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.

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.

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'All roads in the state right now are at risk of floods, ' he said.

Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could also be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland. It has top sustained winds of 25 miles per hour (55 kph) and is moving west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

At 2 a.m. Sunday, Florence was about 25 miles (45 kilometers) southeast of Columbia, South Carolina.

Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise in the coming days.

North Carolina is bracing for what could be the next stage of the still-unfolding disaster: widespread, catastrophic river flooding from Florence.

Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesRescue workers from Township No. 7 Fire Department and volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team use a boat to rescue a woman and her dog from their flooded home during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in James City, United States. "Even though hurricanes are categorized by wind, it's the water that really causes the most loss of life".

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