National Hurricane Center Updates Current Status of Tropical Storm Florence

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

The National Hurricane Centre in Miami says the core of Florence was located at 11pm Friday about 20 kilometres west-northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

"Were expecting additional rainfall across southeastern central into southern North Carolina and across Northern parts of SC where additional rainfall amounts that could exceed 10 inches".

Florence had weakened to a Category 1 storm with 90 miles per hour (145 kph) winds by the time it arrived at the North Carolina coastline. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters.

It's about the water, not the wind, with Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast. As of Saturday afternoon, about 752,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC.

Over a million residents in North Carolina are now without power and authorities have confirmed at least five deaths.

Meanwhile, in SC, at least one gator seemed to be cool with the outer bands of wind and rain that whipped the Myrtle Beach area.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

The Wilmington region could see "storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the North Carolina coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras". Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm and flooding from the heavy rain is forcing hundreds of people to call for emergency rescues in the area around New Bern, North Carolina, which sits at the confluence of the Nueces and Trent rivers.

There are also only a few pieces of land to get in the way and weaken them, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. "The worst is yet to come".

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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.

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At least six people have died so far as tropical storm Florence continues crawling westward.

He said that on Saturday morning, the floodwaters around his home had dropped, leaving a multitude of trees and other debris in their wake.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity.

The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property.

Doll said that people living in low-lying areas next to streams, creeks and rivers, especially in farther inland areas, need to pay attention and evacuate in case rivers start flooding.

The highway could be flooded near Fayetteville and near the SC state line because of expected flooding in the Cape Fear and Lumber rivers.

The monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to one meter.

In towns like New Bern that are already underwater, the river isn't expected to reach its highest level for a couple of days. Coast Guard members said choppers had made about 50 rescues in and around New Bern and Jacksonville as of noon.

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area. And with Mangkhut now headed toward the densely populated southeast coast of China, it is likely to cause more death and destruction.

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