Storm Florence: The impact in numbers

150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 kph) over warm ocean water before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometres) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line. Forecasters predicted severe flooding for parts of southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC starting Sunday. "This is a monumental disaster for our state".

More than five people have died in Hurricane Florence before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Gov Cooper said. In South Carolina, a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

In North Carolina, unrelenting rains were expected to swell the Cape Fear River to 62 feet next week, 3 feet higher than during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline. "Please don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued", he said.

Parts of New Bern and North Carolina were 10 feet underwater after local rivers overflowed their banks.

The National Weather Service office in Newport, North Carolina, (located on the eastern edge of Onslow County) recorded a storm total of 23.75 inches just after midnight.

"We're dealing with some very, very tough situations with respect to the impassable roads coming into the city of Wilmington", Mayor Bill Saffo told residents on Twitter.

Florence plows inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded
They were the first known deaths attributed to Tropical Storm Florence, which was a Category 1 hurricane when it struck the city. Another 30 sites in North and Carolina had at least 10 inches. "Our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger".

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard that, trying to get out, we got thrown into trailers".

No toxic spills had been reported as of Friday afternoon, but the region's rivers were not expected to crest for days.

"It's worrying to watch the water slowly rising", said Denise Harper, a resident of Grifton, another small North Carolina town threatened by rising water in a nearby creek and the Neuse River.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order lifting evacuation orders for Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester and the Edisto Beach area of Colleton County effective at noon Saturday. More than 2.4 million people were evacuated from China's southern Guangdong province ahead of the massive typhoon, the strongest to hit the region in almost two decades.

Tropical Storm Florence claimed at least one home, a roof and, possibly, a life as it made its slow march through central South Carolina Friday night and Saturday.

Flash flooding will be a significant danger along and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along with landslides, isolated tornadoes and eventual flooding on the New River, Dan River and Roanoke River. A 105 miles per hour wind gust recorded in Wilmington Friday morning was the second-strongest ever.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s and was briefly the state capital, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

The rain is resulting in a catastrophic flooding in southeast North Carolina which is spreading into the interior, reaching even into the population centers of Raleigh and Charlotte.

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