This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Tropical Depression Florence moving west across the United States on Sunday, September 16.
Relief: Susan Hedgpeth hugs her dog as they evacuate in Lumberton, North Carolina.
“This is still a catastrophic, life-threatening storm”, said Mr Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center’s Weather Prediction Center.
“Remember: Most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars”, Gov. Cooper said. “And numerous rivers will see prolonged flooding, some not cresting for a few days”.
Flash flood watches are in place for southwest Virginia as the storm swerves inland again.
With Wilmington cut off from the rest of North Carolina by still-rising floodwaters from Florence, officials plan to airlift food and water to the city of almost 120,000 people as rescuers elsewhere pull inland residents from homes swamped by swollen rivers.
More than 30 inches (75cm) of rain has fallen across North and SC since Friday, with tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.
More than 900 people were rescued from rising floodwaters and 15,000 remained in shelters in the state, Cooper said. The woman had driven around barricades to get on a closed road, the sheriff’s office in Union County, near North Carolina’s border with SC, said on Facebook.
By the storm’s end, up to 40 inches will fall in southeastern North Carolina and the northeastern tip of SC, the National Hurricane Center said.
“We knew that the winds, everything with the storm … we were watching the trees in the back that were leaning, but I guess the whole time we were watching the wrong ones”, Olen Gill said. “Last time we had sun was on Wednesday”.
Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday after blowing ashore as a hurricane with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds on Friday, Florence was still spinning slowly atop the Carolinas as it pulled warm water from the ocean and hurled it onshore. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety is telling residents to “Stay home, stay safe,” and reports 654,393 power outages as of Sunday afternoon. He had been evacuated a day before by military troops in a truck.
“I have everything I need for my whole family”, said Merlos. “I can’t thank the first responders enough”.
“The storm has never been more unsafe than it is right now”, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference.
Zach Sullivan walks down a flooded Water Street as the Cape Fear River overflows it’s banks as Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday Sept. 14, 2018. About 1.8 million customers were affected by the storm.
US President Donald Trump has declared a disaster in the state of North Carolina, where a tropical storm has killed at least five people amid warnings the worst is far from over.
– Two people who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Horry County, South Carolina.