Hurricane Florence floods parts of the Carolinas with pounding wind and rain

Florence wreaks havoc and claims lives

Florence wreaks havoc and claims lives

The mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell on their house, the governor said, while confirming another death in Lenoir County.

"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said earlier. As of early Friday afternoon, 20 inches of rain had already fallen in parts of North Carolina - and some resolution models are predicting that by Sunday, the southeastern part of the state could see 50 inches of rain. More than 80 people died as a result of that storm, according to officials.

More than 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire. "Our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger".

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

Florence continues to batter the Carolina's.

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"Florence slowly weakening just inland over eastern SC but causing catastrophic flooding over North and SC", the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Saturday morning, after downgrading it from a hurricane to a tropical storm the previous day.

"This is not the end of it", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at FEMA.

Coastal flooding from storm surge may persist through multiple high-tide cycles into this weekend east of the center of Florence, the Weather Channel warned. In the port city of Wilmington, residents awoke to the sound of power transformers blowing up, plunging homes into darkness as Hurricane Florence's howling winds whipped through the streets sending metal signs, water and debris flying. We have steps on the sides of the house so it's a few feet off the ground anyway.

At least five people, including a mother and her child, have been killed as Florence brings unending rain and storm surges to the region.

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