Flood waters rise as Florence pummels Carolinas; at least 8 dead

Flood waters rise as Florence pummels Carolinas; at least 8 dead

Flood waters rise as Florence pummels Carolinas; at least 8 dead

It remains a Category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 80 miles per hour, but stronger wind gusts have been reported.

Florence's eye made landfall over the Wrightsville Beach water tower about 7:15 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wilmington. When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell. Mangkhut is due to make landfall in Guangdong later Sunday.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.

Almost half a million people were evacuated from seven cities in Guangdong province, the gambling enclave of Macau closed down casinos for the first time and the Hong Kong Observatory told people to stay away from the Victoria Harbour, where storm surges battered the waterfront reinforced with sandbags.

Florence will then turn back towards the eastern US coast, making its way to Pennsylvania by 2 a.m. ET Tuesday.

The pair of dolphins swam near the battered coastline as the storm's waves and high winds raged around them. But with half of the storm still out over the Atlantic, Florence continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it onshore.

Florence has already set rainfall records and left tens of thousands of people in shelters and more than one million homes without power, according to a Washington Post report on Saturday. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

Downtown New Bern, on the Neuse River also is flooded.

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"If you are safe, stay put".

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The disaster area was expected to get about as much rain in three days as the 1999 Dennis and Floyd storms dropped in two weeks.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters, and boats.

Charley English of the American Red Cross said anyone wondering how to help from afar can donate blood, registering first at their local Red Cross websites.

SC authorities reported one death.

Tropical Storm Florence hit the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast on Friday, triggering risky flooding, knocking out power in almost 900,000 homes and businesses, and causing at least eight deaths. "We're trying to educate and protect Floridians so they don't fall victim to Irma for a second time".

"DEQ has been closely monitoring all coal ash impoundments that could be vulnerable in this record breaking rain event", Thorpe said.

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Perry says his department has been in contact with power companies and gas pipeline operators.

"It's going to be a big operation - very big", Frazier said.

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

Hurricane Florence is dumping rain on North Carolina and pushing a storm surge taller than most humans onto communities near the coast.

Other areas throughout the region reported flooded and impassable roads, downed trees and power lines and power outages of more than 125,000 customers. "And we have 300 businesses that are damaged or destroyed".

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's top sustained winds were holding at 45 miles per hour (75 kph), with higher gusts east of the storm's center. Water rescues are expected as well as evacuating homes and bringing pets to dry land. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed hotel.

None of the people rescued were injured.

Before sunrise, high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

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