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Hurricane Florence Death Toll Climbs to 7, Including Mother and Baby

16 September 2018

Florence now huge, slow-moving tropical storm.

North Carolina has been declared a disaster zone, with flooding expected to worsen in some areas. The remnants of Florence are expected to hit the peaks of western North Carolina in a couple of days. Hurricane-force winds were extending out up to 80 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 195 miles, the center said.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, 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.

More than 100 people were rescued and up to 75 more were awaiting rescue on Saturday morning, according to a town official. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed hotel.

"We just don't want people to think this is over because it's not".

At 5 p.m., Florence had been downgraded to a tropical storm, with sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

A piece of corrugated metal blown by winds from Hurricane Florence just misses a state patrolman as people move a wood and metal structure that was blown onto the roadway, in Florence, South Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

Screaming winds bent trees toward the ground and raindrops flew sideways as Florence's leading edge moved in for an extended stay along the coast.

The 400-mile-wide hurricane has already splintered buildings, trapped hundreds of people and swamped entire communities along the Carolina coast. And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.

And weather officials said more is coming, labeling as "extreme" the impacts from storm surge and flash flooding.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience". As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans - who according to polls have a very low opinion of the president - can vote in state elections once they've established residency and registered.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster urged patience, emphasizing that his state had never seen "a hurricane staying on top of us for this long".

Prisoners were affected, too.

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras.

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late last Friday.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City. Ocean water flowed between homes and on to streets on the Outer Banks; waves crashed against wooden fishing piers.

The death toll attributed to Florence stands at 11, including 10 in North Carolina and one in SC.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC, as well as up to 10 inches (25 cm) in southwestern Virginia.

Some towns have received more than two feet of rain from Florence, and forecasters warned that drenching rains totalling up to three-and-a-half feet of water could trigger epic flooding well inland through early next week.

A year ago the ASPCA responded to six disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the wildfires in California, assisting more than 37,000 animals through pre-evacuation, field rescue, and post-disaster relief efforts.

The Federal Emergency Management Authority said motorists should not attempt to drive through floodwaters.

At least five people were killed after Hurricane Florence made landfall on North Carolina's coast on Friday, and at least one person was killed in SC. His home of Newport, N.C., was hit tremendously hard and is under water.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles".

Travel is extremely hazardous because of storm surge, Trogdon said, and will only get worse.

Hurricane Florence Death Toll Climbs to 7, Including Mother and Baby