A.M. Update: Prolonged rain will bring floods

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late on Friday.

A day after Florence blew ashore in North Carolina with 90 miles per hour winds, more than 2 feet of rain had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on, with forecasters saying there could be an additional 1½ feet by the end of the weekend.

SC has reported its first death from Florence.

Officials in New Bern said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

Roads were closed and authorities warned of landslides, tornadoes and flash floods, with dams and bridges in peril as rivers and creeks swelled.

He said he believed that crews wouldn't be able to get to him as of Saturday morning, as floodwaters were chest-high.

There were 974,000 homes in the Carolinas without power on Saturday morning.

After looking at an analysis of expected rainfall, flooding and the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which hit SC as a Category 1 storm in 2016, officials determined that the Pee Dee River basin could flood, swelling rivers that would overtake a number of bridges on major routes, as early as Monday night.

60 primary roads have been closes, with more closures expected.

"Remember: Most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars", Gov. Cooper said.

The death toll rose to 11 on Saturday as storm Florence continues slamming into the U.S. East Coast with howling winds and blinding rains, authorities said.

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Florence "will continue to track slowly inland through the Carolinas this weekend", the National Weather Service said in its 8:00 a.m. update Saturday. Officials said there had been at least seven storm-related fatalities in the state.

Florence has already set a North Carolina record for rainfall totals, exceeding that of Hurricane Floyd, which struck in 1999 and caused 56 deaths.

On Thursday, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 193kph winds.

Rivers are rising on the north side of Hurricane Florence as the storm swirls counter-clockwise, pushing a surge of ocean water far in from the coast.

One of the towns worst affected is New Bern, which sits between the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

"It was pitch black and I was just scared out of my mind", said Tracy Singleton, who with her family later drove through torrential rain and high winds from her home near New Bern to a hotel some almost 130km away. He said the gust was the strongest recorded in Wilmington since 1958.

The effects of Florence won't be fading anytime soon, either, as current forecasts have upwards of 15-to-20 additional inches of rain possible for areas of North and SC will Florence's remnants will linger for the next 48 to 72 hours. The resulting flooding forced swift-water rescues and left several people dead.

Spokeswoman Megan S. Thorpe at the state's Department of Environmental Quality said state regulators will conduct a thorough inspection of the site as soon as safely possible.

The president may travel to the region next week, the White House says.

Trump, who spoke with state and local officials on Friday, plans a visit to the region next week.

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.

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