Hurricane Florence Dumps 'Epic Amounts of Rainfall' On US States

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Eduardo Munoz / Reuters A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson, North Carolina.

Members of the military, volunteer groups and first responders used boats and helicopters to rescue hundreds of people stranded in cars and homes.

In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding.

New Bern, home to approximately 30,000 people, sits about 37 miles northeast of Jacksonville on the banks of the Neuse River. In previous hurricanes in North Carolina, residents lived in trailers while they rebuilt or found permanent housing.

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.

Authorities on Saturday warned residents displaced by a killer hurricane that its devastation was far from over, as Florence dumped "epic amounts of rainfall" across the southeastern United States, bringing catastrophic flooding.

This storm is relentless and excruciating.

That's just the number of customers without power in the Carolinas. More ppl now face a threat than when the storm was offshore.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is incredible and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood.

After reaching a terrifying Category 4 peak of 140 mph (225 kph) earlier in the week, Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles (kilometres) east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line.

Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 miles per hour (7 km/h), with its center located over eastern SC.

Authorities ordered the immediate evacuation of up to 7,500 people living within a mile of a stretch of the Cape Fear River and the Little River. He said five deaths were confirmed from the storm and "several others are under investigation". And many of those those fatalities occurred not while the storm is passing through but days and even weeks after the storm had already gone.

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Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders.

"Please be safe and be smart and use your common sense", Cooper added.

Florence made landfall near Wilmington, N.C., on morning Friday as a Category 1 storm.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

A mother and her infant are dead after a tree fell on their house in Wilmington. The woman's husband was injured in the incident and taken to a nearby hospital, according to police. In Pender County, a woman died of a heart attack. Then, once the remnants of the tempest reach the higher terrain of the southern Appalachians, flash floods, mudslides and debris flows. A 78-year-old man was killed while trying to connect extension cords outside in the rain, ABC News reported, citing Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

Over 100 people remain trapped in New Bern, a town on the Neuse River which has been hit hard by rain and flooding. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some 130 km away.

As of Saturday, about 676,000 homes and businesses were without power in North Carolina, along with 119,000 in SC. The figure for SC was 170,000. Along with other home cleanup and fix work ministries, Frazier said his group works to "basically restore somebody back to where they were as much as we can".

Across the two states there are some 30,000 people staying in emergency shelters.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

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