Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising.
Emergency workers went door to door urging people to flee Florence's rising waters and used inflatable boats to rescue others as the storm practically parked itself over land and poured on the rain Saturday, raising fears that North Carolina could be in for the most disastrous flooding in its history.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 350-mile-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.
"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.
"We are expecting several more days of rain, and our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said as the relenting storm puttered slowly west near the SC border.
Officials from Cumberland County, Fayetteville and the town of Wade issued the order early Saturday afternoon, saying residents there face "imminent danger" from flood waters expected to arrive in the area soon.
Officials in SC are reporting the state's first fatality due to Florence, bringing the storm's overall death toll to at least five. His state has already endured record rainfall, with much more forecast to come.
The centre of the slow-moving storm, downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane after it came ashore Friday afternoon, was almost stalled over SC early Saturday, about 55 kilometres west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 8 km/h and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea.
Its winds were down to 40 miles per hour.
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And on Saturday evening, Duke Energy disclosed that heavy rains had caused a slope to collapse at a coal ash landfill at a closed power station outside Wilmington, North Carolina.
Most of the fatalities occurred in North Carolina, where officials confirmed eight victims. She said that when tourists start returning Sunday morning, she's not sure they'll find what they need. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can". Forecasters said the torrents could continue for days, touching off disastrous flooding.
Meanwhile, tragedy struck one family in Wilmington when a tree fell on a house; a mother and a child were killed.
Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.
The huge levels of rainfall are a result of the storm surge created by the unsafe tropical weather, which has claimed the lives of 11 people. We know how to manage expectations.
When Florence started battering eastern North Carolina, the Neuse and Trent rivers began to swell.
The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel was seemingly battling to stay upright as he filmed a piece in North Carolina - only for two pedestrians to calmly stroll past in the background.
The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC. "That's why we've been preaching to people that you have to get away from the water".