Florence's unsafe flooding "is only going to get worse", North Carolina's director of emergency management warned Saturday as massive amounts of rain devastate the state. And if those shelters fill up, he said, the state will open up more. Johnson says she has the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's notifications come to her phone. "Honestly, it's a weird storm, it's coming in slow. Houses. Trees", Holt said.

But even when the rain lets up, don't be fooled. He said he has hurricane preparation down to a science at this point. "You learn not to go outside, don't go in floodwaters and weather the storm". For most people in inland areas, he added it really is "just a bunch of rain".

"We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns".

"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard that, trying to get out, we got thrown into trailers".

Their homes are still damaged from Matthew, but they survived, members of the family said. Their home still has power, he said, so for now it'll do.

Some cities in the Carolinas have received 30 inches of rain, Ken Graham, the head of the National Hurricane Center told The New York Times.


With another 18 to 24 hours of heavy rain predicted, locals said they have not seen a hurricane this bad since 1999, according to Mr. Buckland.

Florence, a onetime hurricane that weakened to a tropical depression by Sunday, dumped up to 40 inches (100 cm) of rain on parts of North Carolina since Thursday, and continued to produce widespread heavy rain over much of North Carolina and eastern SC, the National Weather Service said.

As of 2 p.m., Florence was centered about 50 miles (85 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, inching west at 3 mph (6 kph) - about as fast as a person walks. An Associated Press analysis found there are roughly 5.1 million active flood insurance policies in the USA, and while many new policies were signed after Hurricane Harvey flooded parts of Texas and Louisiana a year ago, not all vulnerable homeowners are covered. Storm conditions could also lead to tornadoes and landslides, officials said.

In Swansboro, North Carolina, almost 34 inches (85 centimeters) of rain had fallen by Sunday afternoon and 20 other places in North Carolina had at least 20 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Florence set a record in the state for rain from a hurricane, dumping 33.9 inches (86 cm) in Swansboro, North Carolina. At least 10 people have died so far in the storm in North Carolina, including a mother and child killed by a falling tree, state officials said.

Many of those rescues took place on swift boats in Wilmington, a historic coastal city of about 117,000 people on a peninsula between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean.

President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina, the White House said Saturday.


In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows broken. When the first grocery store reopened in south Wilmington, the results were predictable.

Still, there was some good news: Power outages in the Carolinas and Virginia were down to about 580,000 homes and businesses after reaching a high of about 910,000 as the hurricane plowed into the coast.

Heavy rain is expected to continue in North and SC over the next few days. It's from rain. It's a low lot, so that's pretty much the rain, yeah.

Coast Guard response teams have rescued 193 people and 91 pets. As the storm "begins to finally recede, they will kick into an even higher gear".

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

Fortunately, the tree had fallen away from the house and just missed the pump house, which her family used to get water.


Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute. Inland rivers are expected to rise to unsafe levels over the next few days.

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