Florence Continues To Dump Massive Amounts Of Rain On East Coast

Rain begins to fall as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence make landfall in Myrtle Beach South Carolina on 13 September 2018

At least four people were killed.

"We continue to assess conditions in the central and southeast portion of the state to identify opportunities to safely increase operations in those areas as well", Capt. Bion Stewart, leader of the Coast Guard's response to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina, said in a statement.

Video shows a woman in a pink raincoat carrying her rottweiler above the rising waters in New Bern, North Carolina.

"We have completed all of our water rescues & want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who helped us save lives".

The Swansboro total of 86.08 centimetres is the most for any tropical storm or hurricane north of Florida along the East Coast and represents a new two-day and three-day rainfall record for North Carolina. He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet.

In one incident, a mother, 41, and her 7-month-old son were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington. A fourth person was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said.

The No. 1 mission right now, Cooper said, is to save lives.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", he said.

Hurricane Florence made its swipe at Wilmington Friday, cutting power to thousands and priming eastern North Carolina for major flooding in the days ahead.

The hurricane, now downgraded to a tropical storm, was blamed by authorities for at least five deaths as of late Friday. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry said "we've done this many times before". Other communities got well over a foot.

Areas along the SC coast, including Myrtle Beach, reported power outages Friday morning and early afternoon.

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In a tweet, the National Weather Service warned, "The flooding WILL GET WORSE in many locations across SC, NC and VA. River levels will continue to rise today and early this week".

Authorities warned, too, of the threat of mudslides and the risk of an environmental disaster from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water, he calculated.

The hurricane has torn buildings apart and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. It has top sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph) and is moving west at 6 miles per hour (9 kph). Nationwide, airlines canceled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

In Jacksonville, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the cinderblock structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"I think it's fair to say in terms of economic impact, rebuilding, that we are talking in the billions of dollars", Tillis said on "Fox News Sunday".

"Those rivers in North Carolina that have received heavy rainfall are coming our way", Governor Henry McMaster said during a news conference. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".

Munich Re's Rauch said about 30 to 50 percent of storm damage is usually insured in the United States but often less than 10 percent in developing countries, meaning nine-tenths of the people hit will end up shouldering a bigger economic burden.

"We've got nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters", Cooper said.

As of Friday morning, the state was housing nearly 20,000 people in 157 shelters, Gov. Cooper told Steve Inskeep of NPR's Morning Edition.

Sarah Risty-Davis, who was born and raised in New Bern, told NPR's Morning Edition that she saw high floodwaters until the early morning but that the water has mostly receded in her neighborhood.

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