'Worst is yet to come' from Florence's drenching rains in U.S.

Lewis Collier
September 16, 2018

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

The hurricane center said it was expected to become a tropical depression Sunday morning.

Firefighters and rescue crews pray in front of a home after removing a resident trapped inside during Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. Major river flooding is expected on some rivers from southern Virginia to northern SC, including most of North Carolina. An elevated risk of landslides is also now expected in western North Carolina.

Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, but North and SC were in the bull's-eye. It is expected to reach a level very near the record Hurricane Matthew set in 2016.

It said those amounts could result in life-threatening flash floods and river flooding.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the hurricane was "wreaking havoc" on the coast and will make its "violent grind across our state for days", calling the storm an event that comes along only once every 1,000 years. An independent study by researchers at George Washington University commissioned by the Puerto Rican government estimated almost 3,000 people died because of the storm, a figure the president has disputed.

Around 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC. "We face walls of water at our coast, along our rivers, across farmland, in our cities and in our towns".

The White House said President Donald Trump approved making federal funding available in some affected counties. The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

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Torrential rain from Florence is now causing rapid rises in area rivers.

Parts of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC could see another foot or more of rain over the weekend, according to National Weather Service. Floyd produced 24 inches of rain in some parts of the state, while Florence has already dumped about 30 inches in areas around Swansboro. A day after blowing ashore, Florence practically parked itself over land all day long and poured on the rain.

Hundreds of people in North Carolina have been rescued from rising water. A study by Harvard University released in May estimated that Maria was responsible for the deaths of more than 4,600 people.

At one point, the 350-mile-wide but slow-moving storm packed winds so fierce that "CBS Evening News" anchor Jeff Glor almost lost contact with CBS News' New York studio during the morning broadcast.

Hurricane Florence has killed a mother and child in North Carolina.

New Bern resident Latasha Jones was one of the more fortunate ones.

Martin Luther King Drive was nearly covered by the flood, with water lapping at it on either side, and further north many single story homes were also flooded. We have steps on the sides of the house, so it's a few feet off the ground anyway. 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".

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