Trump declares disaster in 8 North Carolina counties

Social media users labelled the report “dramatic” Source @gourdnibler TwitterMore

Social media users labelled the report “dramatic” Source @gourdnibler TwitterMore

Hitting North Carolina on Friday, Hurricane Florence has slowed right down in its path, meaning the Carolinas are facing the brunt of the storm conditions.

In South Carolina, emergency managers were watching several northeastern rivers that flooded two years ago during Hurricane Matthew, destroying homes and government offices.

"Rivers are rising to risky levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday.

According to Doll, many areas in North Carolina are seeing somewhere between 10 and 20 inches of rain.

Ex-hurricane Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 80-kilometres-per-hour but it's projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding.

Though Florence's shrieking winds diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, forecasters said the sheer size of the 350-mile-wide storm and its painfully slow progress across North and SC in the coming days could leave much of the region under water. The storm has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. "I've never seen the water as high as it came". Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel.

Shaken after seeing waves crashing on the Neuse River just outside his house in New Bern, restaurant owner and hurricane veteran Tom Ballance wished he had evacuated.

Officials in SC are reporting the state's first fatality due to Florence, bringing the storm's overall death toll to at least five.

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at almost 170km/h, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.

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A slowing tropical storm Florence continues to creep along the Carolinas today.

By midday, Florence had already claimed its first lives, when a tree crashed onto a home in Wilmington, North Carolina, killing a mother and her infant daughter.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet (9 meters) high as Florence churned toward shore.

That kind of scenario is likely to repeat itself all over communities in Eastern North Carolina, as swollen rivers flood towns and the pouring rain adds to the misery. By Saturday afternoon, Swansboro, North Carolina had recorded over 30 inches of rain - and at least another foot was in the forecast. Although the storm is passing north of Myrtle Beach, the concern now is that river water from North Carolina will flow into the area and combine with all the water that is already there.

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

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city tweeted around 2 a.m. Friday.

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard ..." She retreated and was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said.

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