Now a tropical storm, Florence spreads watery mayhem across Carolina

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

"This storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

People wait in line to fill up their gas cans at a gas station that was damaged when Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington, North Carolina.

As Florence first broke on land yesterday 90mph winds struck the coastal areas, but as the storm system moved across land it was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm.

Though weakened, Florence remains a very large, slow and risky storm as it swirls over the Carolinas.

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.

Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

"This storm is still deadly and unsafe and it's expected to turn northward later today into Virginia and the mid-Atlantic", he said.

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.

In South Carolina, some 36,000 customers are without power, officials said. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters.

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Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday.

President Trump will be visiting areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week, the White House says.

"Maybe the communities of color that are expected to feel the greatest burden of a disaster like this don't have time to have a conversation like this with the media because they're fighting for their lives, they're fighting for their very survival", she said.

At 5 a.m. Sunday, Florence was about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com said Florence could dump a staggering 68 trillion litres of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

Rescuers are working hastily to save those caught in rising flood waters as thousands of people living near North Carolina's rising rivers were ordered to evacuate Saturday. "The worst is yet to come".

And dolphins were spotted closer than usual to shore near in Wilmington, North Carolina. Sutton was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating ash to remove to safer lined landfills.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina. Newport, N.C., has already accumulated 23.7 inches.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change.

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