Record flooding as Florence rolls across Carolinas

Don't play games with it, says Trump as Hurricane Florence heads for US East Coast

A building is seen through heavy rain from Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region.

Hurricane Florence continues to assault North and SC in the United States, with five persons reported dead on Friday night due to powerful, gusting winds and extremely heavy rain. The child's father was transported to the hospital with injuries. The hurricane's storm surge - the wall of water it pushed in from the Atlantic - "overwhelmed" the town of New Bern at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said. Hundreds more had to be rescued elsewhere from rising waters.

WXII-TV reports the city of New Bern said Friday that two out-of-state FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more teams were on the way.

More than 400 people had to be rescued from their homes or vehicles and some 20,000 were taking refuge in shelters across North and SC and Virginia.

A severe inland flood threat is emerging as remnants of Florence pound the Carolinas with almost nonstop rain for a second day since the once major hurricane howled ashore. The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday.

At 8 a.m. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

At 2 p.m. EDT, Florence, weakening as it moves inland at 5 mph, was 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington and 35 miles east northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, packing sustained hurricane-force winds of 75 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

More news: Evacuations underway as Florence strengthens to category 4 hurricane

Parts of North and SC were forecast to get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter).

"I'm anxious about what I might find when I go home, though", she said. Downed trees blocked the road, making it impossible for paramedics to get to her. "Right now we are on the edge as far as the amount of wind that we will have that will warrant that condition".

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says that as the hurricane hit the coast overnight, officers "responded to 108 calls for service and 30 collisions".

Power outages affecting more than 900,000 in Carolinas.

Florence had been a category three hurricane with 120mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a category one hurricane before coming ashore.

The New Bern Police Department tweeted early Thursday evening "City of New Bern officials are encouraging all residents to shelter in place due to Hurricane Florence". Some parts of New Bern could be flooded with a possible 9-foot storm surge as the Category 2 hurricane approaches the United States.

National Weather Service forecasters said the storm would roam along the coast for at least two more days before reaching Columbia, South Carolina, early Sunday.

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