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Death Toll Rises To 11 As Florence Pours On The Rain

Death Toll Rises To 11 As Florence Pours On The Rain

Kevin Knox carries gas and a generator after being rescued from his flooded neighborhood from the effects of Florence, now a tropical storm, in New Bern, North Carolina, on September 15, 2018.

Florence flattened trees, crumbled roads and the assault wasn't anywhere close to being over, with the siege in the Carolinas expected to last all weekend.

As of 11:00 am (1500 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of risky storm surges and "catastrophic flash flooding".

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide, Florence took down trees, power lines and damaged buildings.

Besides federal and state emergency crews, rescuers were being helped by volunteers from the "Cajun Navy" - civilians equipped with light boats, canoes and air mattresses - who also turned up in Houston during Hurricane Harvey to carry out water rescues.

Florence's intensity has diminished since it roared ashore along the US mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered ahead of Florence's landfall in parts of North and SC, though many people chose to remain in their homes for reasons ranging from financial concerns and the need to care for pets that they may not have been able to take to some evacuation shelters, some who stayed in their residences told ABC News ahead of the storm.

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind. The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

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In North Carolina, the city of New Bern was particularly hard hit.

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. Gusts reached over 100 miles per hour - the highest recorded in North Carolina since 1958.

Authorities warned, too, of risks of mudslides and environmental disasters from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.

The mayor said the pier made it through the storm on Thursday but did not survive the rough surf on Friday.

Strong winds and heavy rain continue to present a danger, and Florence is now being attributed to several deaths.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at almost 170km/h, the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958. Nationwide, airlines cancelled more than 2,400 flights through Sunday.

On the other side of the world, meanwhile, more than a dozen people have died as Typhoon Mangkhut rips through the Philippines. The Neuse River rose rapidly, overcoming the streets of New Bern. Rescue workers were able only to save her father. "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". "We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs, and were left shaken. "I love hurricanes. But this one has been an experience for me", she said.


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