Florence disaster declared in North Carolina as flooding threat grows

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Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team using a phone app to locate people in distress.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds across the state.

Although it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, slow-moving Florence is already blasting North and SC with torrential rain and severe floods.

Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm with diminished winds, but it has stalled over the Wilmington region as predicted and will continue drenching the area with historic and catastrophic rain, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 a.m. briefing.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

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She succeeded - staying awake all night, retying broken dock lines in howling winds. "I honestly cried", Kittrell said. A reporter for CNN Wilmington affiliate WWAY said firefighters where shaken up by what they encountered at the home.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got over 30 inches and counting, eclipsing the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches on the state.

This story will be updated with additional information momentarily.

On Saturday morning, the 563-km-wide storm was strolling along at 3.2kmh, unleashing drenching downpours in eastern SC.

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. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel.

Officials said flood waters from other areas are accumulating north of the county and filling the river basins beyond their capacities.

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A piece of corrugated metal blown by winds from Hurricane Florence just misses a state patrolman as people move a wood and metal structure that was blown onto the roadway, in Florence, South Carolina, on September 14, 2018. His mom remembers Hurricane Hazel, when the water did not rise as high as his fifth step, where it was Thursday night.

"That's a decision I had to make", he said. As of Saturday, Fayetteville has received 2.5 inches of rain but heavier rain are expected this afternoon, with more expected in the coming days, Doll said.

A mother and her eight-month-old baby were killed Friday when a tree fell on a house, according to a tweet from police in Wilmington, N.C. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment. "I have no money, no job, no connections", Tony Clower, a homeless Kinston, North Carolina, resident, told the Asheville Citizen-Times. They had heeded officials' warnings that the storm was treacherous, with record-setting rains and storm surges not seen in North Carolina in decades.

Two fins were spotted in the high water in Wilmington.

By Friday evening, the Cape Fear River in Wilmington saw storm surge flowing north being met with rainwater flowing west, giving the water nowhere to go. The southeast town of Newport, N.C., reported a rainfall total of nearly 24 inches as of midnight Saturday. She was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.

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