Death toll rises to 11 as Florence continues battering US East Coast

Death toll rises to 11 as Florence continues battering US East Coast

Death toll rises to 11 as Florence continues battering US East Coast

Storm winds might be dropping, but rivers are rising and the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history. "We want you home but you can't come yet".

The NHC also warned of possible tornadoes into Sunday evening in North Carolina and eastern SC.

Officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state.

Former Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression, but it's still dumping tons of rain on the East Coast - and breaking records, too.

Tropical Storm Florence dumped "epic" amounts of rain on North and SC as it trudged inland on Saturday, knocking out power and causing at least eight deaths as flood waters that have devastated many communities kept rising. Instead the main threat will actually come when the rain stops and the water drains from the region into the rivers, officials said. "It's remarkable that large portions of interstate 95 and many other roads are closed".

An elevated risk of landslides is now expected in western North Carolina.

Newport, North Carolina, reported 23.75 inches of rainfall by Saturday morning.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise in the coming days.

As reported by the Inquisitr, the first two lives claimed by Florence were a mother and an infant, who were killed when a tree fell on their home. A man died in Kinston, North Carolina when he was overtaken by strong winds.

The storm was also a factor in the death of a woman who suffered a heart attack since emergency crews couldn't reach her due to a fallen tree, as The Wall Street Journalreported.

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Schoolteacher Leslie Ochoa said she and her family loaded up 10 adults, 5 children, 14 goats, 10 dogs, two cats and one guinea pig and evacuated from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina last Tuesday. That, in turn, could trigger epic flooding well inland.

"The flood danger from storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hrs ago", North Carolina Emergency Management said on Twitter.

In New Bern, a riverfront city near the North Carolina coast that saw storm surges of up to 10 feet (three meters), residents took stock of the damage after flood waters began receding and authorities rescued hundreds of people who had been stranded.

The government can only do so much when a storm strikes, so hardware and building supply companies get ready with batteries, gas cans, tarps and chainsaws long before landfall. "If you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life".

Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday.

"After this storm, we hope that Duke Energy will commit itself to removing its ash from all its unlined waterfront pits and, if it refuses, that the state of North Carolina will require it to remove the ash from these unlined pits". That's enough water to fill the Chesapeake Bay or to cover the state of Texas in 4 inches.

By tomorrow afternoon, the center of Florence is expected to be across western SC.

About 756,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC and surrounding states, down from a peak of almost 1 million.

In New Bern, swift water boat teams rescued almost 500 people who made a decision to wait out Florence, some scrambling into their upper floors, attics and even roofs to escape shockingly fast floodwaters.

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