Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

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Cowan said he anxious that the floods would destroy numerous crops that drive the local agricultural economy. CBS 17 Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein wrote to The Chronicle at noon Friday that Durham can still expect tropical storm winds at 39 miles per hour or higher Friday and Saturday, which threaten to knock down trees and cause power outages.

The storm was expected to become a tropical depression on Saturday and significant weakening was expected over the weekend, the NHC said in a bulletin.

WILMINGTON, North Carolina-Hurricane Florence crashed into the Carolinas on Friday with 144 kph winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge before slowing to a pace that meant it would plague the area with days of flooding. "Heavy rains and catastrophic flooding continue across portions of North Carolina and SC", the center said.

"Help us to remember that the same God that created the heavens and the earth is the same God that is with us and will see us through the storm". He then leaves the studio and leaves a radar of Florence's rain bands playing on a loop. The swift-water rescues on Saturday morning were mostly of people who hadn't heeded those orders, said Burgaw Fire Capt. Nick Smith. Officials also said one person was electrocuted in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator in the rain, and a man died after being blown to the ground while checking on his hunting dogs.

"We are saddened by the sudden passing of one of our community, and our hearts go out to the family and friends who are now grieving during such an already stressful period", Hutcheson said in a statement. "But we're still in the throes of it".

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper. The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958, the weather service said. "This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall".

"Remember most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars".

With close to 90 of the state's 100 counties setting up their emergency management offices for this storm, all signs point to an even longer recovery from Florence.

Hurricane Florence could cause catastrophic freshwater flooding in Carolinas
He said parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet. Mayor Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN traffic out of the SC city has more than quadrupled as residents and visitors evacuate.

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The storm is now around 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and is moving west-northwest at 17 mph. Winds: 40% - 60% chance of tropical storm force winds (greater than 39 mph), especially Saturday & Sunday.

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More than 80,000 people were already without power as Florence began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters. It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

In the aftermath of every hurricane, deaths from vehicles attempting to drive through flooded roads account for a large portion of the death toll.

"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said. Many in the storm's path are holding on to the promise that they're not alone.

The rising sea crept toward the two-story home of Tom Copeland, who lives on a spit of land surrounded by water in Swansboro. His body was discovered by family members.

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

About a million customers in the two states are without power, the New York Times reports. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"Our house is on high ground so we're not anxious about the flooding", he said. The storm is then expected to turn westward and then northward through the Carolinas and to the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said. "I woke up at 6 a.m., and the water was coming into the house".

"We're in God's hands", said Rick Foreman, pastor at West Lumberton Baptist Church, as the Lumber River steadily rose Friday and local residents filled sandbags.

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