Deaths, Winds, Floods and More: What You Need to Know About Florence

The Union Point Park Complex is seen flooded as the Hurricane Florence comes ashore in New Bern North Carolina

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her. Additionally, three people have died in SC. Greenville station WITN said a 78-year-old man was electrocuted while he was trying to connect two extension cords in the rain.

"The sun rose this morning on an extremely risky situation and it's getting worse", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said, and called Florence a "thousand-year rain event". The hurricane hit early Friday morning, and by afternoon the winds slowed from 90 miles per hour to 75 miles per hour.

As of 5:00 pm (2100 GMT) Florence was producing tropical storm-strength winds of 70 miles (110 kilometers) an hour, while it lashed the Carolinas with heavy rains and threatened deadly flash flooding. But Florence's forward movement had slowed to a crawl, and it piled on the rain in a siege that could go on all weekend long.

North Carolina officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state, with unconfirmed reports of a further three deaths.

A local reporter has been panned online for hamming up just how strong the winds were during a live TV cross.

Almost 15,300 people have already evacuated the northeastern corner of the island, the Phillipine Office of Civil Defence said. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

By 5 a.m., about 200 people had been rescued from flooded homes in New Bern, where the National Weather Service reported 10 feet of inundation.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch.

Shell said she has one bedroom and a 20-by-40-foot sunroom she estimates could house up to 20 cots.

"Pretty soon I had a hundred of my closest friends out here helping us out", Britt said. Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 1 to 3½ feet (30 centimeters to 1 meter) as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

"Now a major hurricane with winds of 115 miles an hour and increasing, the National Hurricane Center says Florence's forecast track will take the system over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and Florence will approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday".

Atlantic Beach, located on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Meanwhile the White House said President Trump will tour areas affected by Florence next week, once it is determined that his visit will not disrupt rescue and recovery operations.

Florence drove almost 1 million people from their homes and almost 700,000 lost power. Duke Energy said late Friday that it anticipates 1 million to 3 million outages in the Carolinas, and that full power restoration could take weeks.

The worst natural disaster in North Carolina history was Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which dumped almost 2 feet (60 centimeters) of rain and flooded a broad swath of the coastal plain, swamping whole towns and dozens of hog farm lagoons containing millions of gallons (liters) of untreated urine and feces.

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