Over 722,000 without power as Florence batters Carolinas

Rescue workers from the Township No. 7 Fire Department and volunteers from the Civilian Crisis Response Team use a truck to move people rescued from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence on Sept. 14 2018 in James City N.C. (Chip Somodevilla  Gett

According to a report from the J.P. Morgan Chase Institute, extreme weather events like the one now battering the Carolinas and Virginia can have far-reaching effects on consumers' wallets, impacting their spending for months after the storm has cleared.

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters). Here are snapshots of people struggling to cope with the slow-grinding storm.

Also, a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington this morning.

The child's father was transported to a hospital with injuries, according to Wilmington police.

At 2 a.m. Friday, the city tweeted an ominous message, saying at least 150 people were awaiting rescue.

Another two people died in the city of Kinston, said Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

As 400-mile-wide Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, N.C., while many of their neighbors awaited help.

Airlines cancelled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

If the water starts to rise again, she says, she'll head upstairs and wait for it to recede again.

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The question is, he said: "How do we collectively pick up the ball, change the game plan and re-position the police?" Fortunately, incidents of murder and attempted murder decreased by 50 and 8.8 per cent in the Mariannhill community.

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change. "You rock! We couldn't have done it without you!" the city tweeted on Saturday. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

And Hurricane Florence, though far from the fastest-windspeed storm in recent memory, remains a significant threat precisely due to the large surge and huge rainfall it's dumping on affected areas. On average, a hurricane will hit North Carolina once every five years.

Florence also blew down trees.

The National Hurricane Center says Florence is producing tropical storm-force wind gusts in Florence, South Carolina, about 60 miles from the coast.

Gibson said she thinks some people couldn't afford to evacuate New Bern and others didn't heed evacuation warnings after Florence dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 1.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Florence was 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, packing sustained hurricane-force winds of 80 mph and moving west-southwest at 3 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the US are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain.

Forecasters say the center of Hurricane Florence is hovering just inland near Cape Fear, North Carolina. The tree was about six feet above the road and the car's roof hit the tree.

"Pretty soon I had a hundred of my closest friends out here helping us out", Britt said. Trump plans a visit to the region next week. It was crawling west-southwest at 3 miles per hour (6kph), lifting huge amounts of ocean moisture and dumping it far from the coast.

"If this thing comes inland and stops in eastern North Carolina like they forecast it, and we get two days of continuous rain, the rain will be our biggest damage", he said.

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