Deadly Tropical Storm Florence brings 'epic' amount of rain to US

Andrew Carter  The News & Observer via AP

The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police.

In all, hundreds of people have been rescued in New Bern, according to Gov. Roy Cooper. In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris.

Florence made landfall 10 miles east of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. It came ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. "If not we'd be stuck upstairs for the next. how long?"

Coast Guard helicopters were taking off across the street to rescue stranded people from rooftops and swamped cars. By late afternoon, Beaufort County Manager Brian Alligood hoped the worst was over. "We have started to see the water recede".

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

The parts of the country still in the storm's path have been saturated by summer rains and can not soak up any surplus from Florence.

Downgraded to a Tropical Storm, its core is now drifting westward over SC, threatening more flash floods and major river flooding.

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide, Florence continued deluging the Carolinas on Saturday morning after pushing surging seas far ashore. "And you don't need power to sling booze", said owner Eli Ellsworth.

Bobby Brown, 50, with his granddaughter Lyric, 1, during a power outage in Florence, South Carolina, U.S., September 14, 2018. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores could get gusty winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Helene this weekend, while Isaac regained tropical storm strength after earlier weakening in the Caribbean Sea.

The Triangle is under a flash flood warning until 8 p.m. Sunday.

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In North Carolina, at least five deaths are related to the storm - but "several others are under investigation", Cooper said.

Cooper said others should not follow suit.

"We have completed all of our water rescues & want to sincerely thank all of the volunteers who helped us save lives". Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said. "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later cancelled.

"I have no money, no job, no connections", Tony Clower, a homeless Kinston, North Carolina, resident, told the Asheville Citizen-Times.

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.

"Hurricanes bring out a lot of good in people and also the worst in those few bad actors preying on homeowners whose most prized asset has been damaged", Jon Moore, spokesman for Florida's Department of Financial Services, told the Miami Herald following Hurricane Irma in 2017. More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds collapsed part of the roof.

Those who stayed behind gave harrowing accounts of getting trapped in their homes surrounded by water.

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

Trump previously declared states of emergency in North and SC, and Virginia.

New Bern, which has a population of about 30,000, was once the capital of the state's colonial government.

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