Confirmed Dead Due to Hurricane Florence

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Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds.

Two people in Lenoir County were killed: a 78-year-old Kinston man who was electrocuted when connecting extension cords in the rain and a 77-year-old man who was blown down by the wind when he went to check on his hunting dogs.

"Second, know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood". As of Friday morning, more than a half a million people had lost power in North and SC.

A weakened Florence slowed to a crawl over SC on Saturday after leaving at least 11 people dead, and the storm's relentless rains fueled fears of devastating inland flooding in the days ahead. "Really all you could do is stay inside and hope for the best".

Flooding and a strong storm surge prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, spokeswoman Amber Parker said. Officials said some 1.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia were warned to evacuate, but it was unclear how many did.

Nearly 20,000 people had taken refuge in 157 emergency shelters, Cooper said. It started pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

"Honestly, I'm not sure" why some people refused to follow evacuation orders, David Cotton, county manager for North Carolina's Onslow County, told "Good Morning America" on Saturday. The record was set by Hurricane Helene in 1958 with 135 miles per hour. The county has a population of 325,000, about 20,000 in the riverfront county seat of Conway.

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"Some of the worst flooding from the monster storm was in the town of New Bern, North Carolina, where the Neuse River overflowed its banks, flooding streets and trapping many people in their homes". The river runs through Fayetteville - home to the Army's Ft. He urged residents to stay inside and not get in the way of emergency workers.

Amanda Tesch, a spokesperson for the Carteret County Emergency Services, said that earlier reports from her office that the death toll has been raised were never correct. To the north, officials were monitoring the Tar River, and sandbagging the French Broad River to the west and the Lumber River to the southeast.

The National Hurricane Centre said Florence will eventually make a right turn to the north east over the southern Appalachians, moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England as a tropical depression by the middle of next week.

The storm's extremely slow speed means the risk of catastrophic flooding remains high across both states.

"Seeing them get out of the auto and seeing their emotions was heartbreaking", he said.

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline.

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