Florence death toll rises to 5 amid massive deluge

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The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday (September 15), then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU" - that's what the city of New Bern, North Carolina, tweeted after hundreds of people needed rescue from rising waters from the Neuse River, and a TV station had to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of its hurricane coverage.

Along with this projection, NHC warned of "life-threatening" storm surges and floods throughout both North Carolina and SC.

Officials say closures could last up to a week along Interstate 95 in North Carolina.

The Washington Post reports that, according to preliminary reports submitted to the National Weather Service, Florence's 30 inches of rainfall in North Carolina has broken the statewide rainfall record set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 of 24.06 inches.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers.

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has been lashed by torrential rains and near-hurricane force winds, CBS News correspondent Don Dahler reported.

On Friday afternoon, it was traveling at just 3 to 5 miles per hour, still near the coast.

Roads were closed and authorities warned of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled. It has 3½ times more storms that reach major hurricane strength of 111 miles per hour (178 kph), and three times more accumulated energy out of those hurricanes, an index that measures not just strength and number of storms but how long they last, according to more than 65 years of storm data.

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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In Lenoir County, North Carolina a person died while plugging in a generator.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity.

The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Taylor said the storm already dumped 30 inches of rain on some parts of the NC.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges up to 10 feet (3 meters), authorities were rescuing stranded residents and taking stock of damages.

"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

At least six people have died so far as tropical storm Florence continues crawling westward. So it's 'time to go out and have a drink'.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

A statue reaches above Florence's floodwaters in North Carolina.

Home Depot and North Carolina-based Lowe's - the two biggest home supply companies - both activated sophisticated emergency command centers with their own meteorologists. "It's like are you gonna stay here or are we going to go ahead and leave?"