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The Latest Menace for the Carolinas: Rising Flood Waters
Florence lumbers inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded, World News & Top Stories
16 September 2018, 01:42 | Justin Tyler
'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas
Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, could be in for heavy rains as Florence plods inland.
"I don't want to sound like we're relieved, lucky, or excited", he said.
The storm made landfall in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the gloom of dawn Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.
As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.
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.
But it continued to warn of "catastrophic" flooding from excessive rainfall. "Don't drive across standing or moving water". "Roads are closed in many places and more are closing even as we speak".
More than 10 million people are under hurricane watches or warnings and 1.7 million have been ordered to evacuate the coast.
Heavy rainswill continue to fall in the Carolinas and heavier rains are expected to spread into western parts of North Carolina, in addition to some parts of eastern Tennessee and eastern Georgia, Doll said.
U.S. media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.
- A 77-year old man died after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown down, Hanks says.
CNN also reported a man and a woman died in South Carolina's Horry County due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
-Intensity: Florence came ashore with top winds of 90 miles per hour (145 kph), below the 111 miles per hour (178 kph) threshold for a "major" hurricane but still extremely unsafe.
Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned against such behavior as roads became increasingly unsafe.
"We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns".
"I can not overstate it: Floodwaters are rising, and if you aren't watching for them you are risking your life", Gov. Roy Cooper said.
The 18th century town, with a population of 30,000, has been badly flooded, with 4,200 homes damaged.
Non-profit groups are preparing to serve tens of thousands of meals daily in the most-damaged areas, while state and federal emergency officials are locating temporary housing, including hotel rooms, for storm victims in the weeks or months that they're displaced. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 10 centimetres of water, he calculated.
Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".
"Once the last drops of rain [have] occurred doesn't mean problems are over", he said.
Photos and videos from around the region, and particularly North Carolina, showed the power that Florence contained as it came ashore, leading to rescues across the area.
North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).
A man sits on a park bench in a flooded park as the Cape Fear River rises above its usual height in Wilmington, North Carolina, on September 15, 2018.
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Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 1 storm
After landfall, the storm is expected to linger over the area for a few days, which would result in rising river levels and lakes. Days of intense rainfall could dump more than three feet of rain on the Carolinas, as the storm stalls when it reaches the coast.