Firefighters pray at scene where mom, baby killed during Florence

Australian ambulance         Source

Australian ambulance Source

People are rescued by members of the US Army during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, US.

Florence weakened somewhat after making landfall and on Saturday was a tropical storm that had sustained winds of 50 mph as it churned about 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Myrtle Beach Online reported that some areas could see 20 to 30 inches of rain by the time the storm passes.

As the storm hovered around eight miles north of Myrtle Beach in SC, residents in the city of Conway, a few miles from the storm's eye, anxious that the Waccamaw river which surrounds the city would soon burst its banks.

Several more days of rain are expected as Florence, now a tropical storm, hovers over the Carolinas.

Tropical storm warnings remain in force close by and inland from the coasts of North Carolina and SC. Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph). Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches (58 centimeters) of rain by Friday night with more torrents on the way.

Dolphins have been seen swimming close to the shoreline in high water caused by Hurricane Florence.

"Honestly, I'm not sure" why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina's Onslow County, told "Good Morning America" on Saturday.

Tornadoes are also a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC". "Florence's 18 trillion gallons is as much water as there is in the entire Chesapeake Bay", its article says.

Meanwhile, many were experiencing a complete blackout as the storm damaged infrastructure, utility poles and transmission lines.

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It already had, in Beaufort County and its capital city, Washington, where 300 people were rescued from flooded homes.

Mr Hanks said a fourth person died while checking on his hunting dogs, and authorities believe he was blown over by the wind.

"Remember that rivers will keep rising for days even after the rain stops", he warned. In South Carolina there were 7,000 people staying in shelters.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometers) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. North of the landfall, another 150 people near the town of New Bern required rescue from floods along the Neuse River.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, however, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. A local official said it was a "storm-related medical fatality", but did not elaborate.

Rainfall is already being measured in feet in parts of North Carolina, and there is more to come.

As Florence drew near, President Donald Trump tweeted that FEMA and first responders are "supplied and ready", and he disputed the official conclusion that almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico, claiming the figure was a Democratic plot to make him look bad.

"We're out of power so we spent the first few hours of the day playing board games with candles". He said he had trimmed his own trees before the storm.

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