"You rock! We couldn't have done it without you!" the city tweeted on Saturday. A town spokesman said between 60 and 75 people were awaiting rescue on Saturday. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU".
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Two women who were riding out the storm dance to the music outside the Barbary Coast bar in downtown Wilmington, N.C., as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast, September 13, 2018.
Another said she was watching the forecasts, and would be ready to pack up and leave at the last minute if she had to.
Sixty-seven-year-old Sadie Marie Holt was among those rescued Friday.
General O'Shaughnessy said there were about 7,000 U.S. military personnel now in place and ready to respond to the storm, along with ships, helicopters, high-wheeled vehicles and other equipment. She grew up in her home that has been passed down for generations.
"Remember most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars. We've got a lot of supplies from Walmart". "Houses. Trees", Holt said.
"It's a wait-and-see moment" for the area's courses, said Biff Lathrop, executive director of the South Carolina Golf Association. While inland areas may be spared the strongest winds, they could be vulnerable to flooding, especially if close to overflowing rivers.
Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and on social media.
As winds and rain picked up during the day and conditions quickly deteriorated, thousands of people moved into emergency shelters to ride out what officials have called "the storm of a lifetime".
"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 on Saturday.
"Other sources are predicting a financial toll for Florence of up to $170 billion, and we think that is extreme when looking at Florence's track and impacts to people and their lives", Myers said.More news: Give Marcus Rashford time to shine, insists England manager Gareth Southgate
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About 1.7 million people have been told to evacuate from coastal areas in the two Carolinas and Virginia.
Massive power outages were reported, and downtown streets had fallen trees, broken storefront windows and damaged street signs.
Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.
As if that weren't enough, an natural disaster also hit SC about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. He shone a flashlight through the glass.
"I've never been one to leave for a storm but this one kind of had me spooked", Epperson said. "These were waves crashing down".
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned residents to be careful as the outer bands of Hurricane Florence began to hit the coast on Thursday afternoon. "Any height of that wave is on top of that twelve feet".
"This water is through the first floor of your home into the second, you can see there's fish floating around in here".
Bill Berlino, 83, said he was skeptical of the news reports he's seen about the hurricane.
But the water never quite made it to his home.
The city's residential garbage, recycling and yard waste has been cancelled for Friday and has been rescheduled for Monday, weather permitting.
In South Carolina, officials urged residents to prepare for wind, rain, extended power outages, downed trees and even potential mudslides as the storm hovers over the state and dumps millions of gallons of rainwater, as Hurricane Harvey did in the Houston area previous year.