As floodwaters rise, Florence devastates North Carolina

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionBBC on the ground as Hurricane Florence arrives

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline, along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris.

Mayor Dana Outlaw told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that numerous creeks in the area are "increasing by the hour" and there's concern about trees falling due to the saturated ground conditions. The first units were expected to come online early next week in New Bern and Washington, North Carolina, according to Jack Frazier, the Baptist Men's disaster relief co-ordinator.

The National Weather Service is calling for record-breaking flooding of New River, Northeast Cape Fear River and Trent River following Hurricane Florence.

In South Carolina, a woman was killed when she struck a tree while driving, and a couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator being operated inside their home, officials said.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Tropical storm Florence lumbered inland yesterday, knocking down trees, flooding rivers, and dumping sheets of rain in the Carolinas where five people have died.

"We've been moving beds, linens, clothes, as much stuff as we could to get it out, you know, so we won't lose it", said Tucker Sparkman, who also lives in Rocky Point.

Helicopter crews have carried out dozens of missions in coastal North Carolina and helped in the rescue of 50 people and eight pets, said Petty Officer Michael Himes of the U.S. Coast Guard.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the tweet said.

"The worst of the storm is behind us", she said.

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

Members of Onslow County emergency look to see if a passenger was still in a vehicle that was overtaken by flooding on US Route 17 outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 15, 2018 during Tropical Storm Florence. "This is an extremely long detour, but it is the detour that offers the lowest risk of flooding at this time", said the state department of transportation. Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said. Both states also are at a risk of unsafe flash floods and river flooding. "It's like are you gonna stay here or are we going to go ahead and leave?"

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday and was crawling west at 8 miles per hour (13 kph).

One of those was the Waccamaw River in South Carolina's Horry County, which had reached 8.9 feet by Saturday; it floods at 11 feet.

Florence crashed ashore Friday morning in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, and it has wiped out power to about 796,000 customers in that state and SC, reports CNN.

Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.

Navy ships will begin returning to southeast Virginia on Sunday but at least one jurisdiction on southwestern Virginia declared a state of emergency on Saturday, as officials predicted that Tropical Storm Florence might threaten parts of the state with catastrophic flooding this week.

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.

Hurricane Florence claimed several lives as it engulfed the east coast.

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