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Florence's Death Toll Stands at 15 as It Weakens to a Depression

17 September 2018

That just means the wind speeds calmed down slightly.

The Carolinas know all about hurricane-related flooding, having experienced Matthew two years ago and Floyd in 1999.

A third person died nearby in coastal Pender County, North Carolina, where an official called it a medical fatality but did not elaborate. Volunteer rescue groups such as the Cajun Navy and emergency workers are scrambling to save hundreds of people still trapped by rising floodwater.

Some of the worst flooding from the monster storm was in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, where the Neuse River overflowed its banks, flooding streets and trapping many people in their homes. The head of Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, said officials were still focused on finding and rescuing people. "Only communication we have with them is just me flashing my lights to them and I think they have a flashlight they're flickering back to us".

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina's governor offered a series of dire warnings.

Cooper warned residents throughout North Carolina to stay off the roads.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour, and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 miles per hour.

As it moves inland, the storm is expected to bring its high winds and intense rain bands across the southeastern corner of North Carolina and a large chunk of SC. "We're going to have to have patience, we're going to have to be careful and we're going to have to deal with a lot of water". Authorities have launched investigations. Rivers swelled not only with water but with the carcasses of livestock. It is expected to reach a level very near the record Hurricane Matthew set in 2016.

Bobby Hunt's house is still damaged from Matthew. "I said, no I got to go".

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Thankfully, they said, the new roof held up for Florence. He's not waiting for that to happen again.

Water on the Cape Fear River near Chinquapin got so high that electronic instruments used to monitor flooding quit working after it became submerged, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Eight-foot waves, a local record, ruffled the surface of the Cape Fear River.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. Power outages mounted until almost 700,000 customers were in the dark in North Carolina alone. More than 15,000 people are staying at 150 emergency shelters.

Five people were arrested for breaking into a Dollar General Store, said the police department in Wilmington, which has imposed a nighttime curfew. "You have somewhat of a culture that it won't happen in New Bern and it has happened in New Bern".

"What we want to try to do is to minimize the time that people spend in their shelters that they're in right now", Sprayberry said.

Over 770,000 customers were still without power as of Saturday night.

"Flood waters are still raging across parts of our state, and the risk to life is rising with the angry waters", Cooper said.

A hotter atmosphere can also hold more water, so this should allow hurricanes to dump more water on affected areas.

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Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal. USA media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

They have made clear that this event is all about the water - which the storm has delivered in devastating quantity.

- A 3-month-old baby who died after a tree fell on a mobile home in Dallas, North Carolina.

A member of the US Coast Guard checks houses on Mill Street Road after Florence hit Newport N.C., Sept 15.

This will cause devastating flooding across much of Onslow County with travel made impossible and many homes completely flooded. Earlier, authorities said a man drowned after his pickup truck flipped into a drainage ditch along a flooded SC road and two people died from inhaling carbon monoxide from a generator in their home.

Onslow County spokesman Cornelius Jordan said some visitors at the Triangle Motor Inn were able to drive away on their own, but emergency personnel had to take others to a safe location.

- A woman who suffered cardiac arrest in Hampstead, North Carolina.

Already, more than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of rain had fallen in places, and forecasters were saying there could be an additional 1½ feet (45 centimeters) before Sunday was out.

- Another man in Lenoir County who was electrocuted while trying to connect two extension cords. Only one North Carolina is expected to more than 1 meter of rain.

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Florence's Death Toll Stands at 15 as It Weakens to a Depression