Toll in US storm increases to 13

With the eye of Florence stalled near the coast, the half of the storm still out over the Atlantic continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

In general, south eastern sections of North Carolina like Wilmington and Fayetteville are at risk of flooding.

It said it was located about 65km west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march. Its forward movement was 6 miles per hour (9 kph).

SC authorities said law enforcement officers were guarding against looting in evacuated areas, while Wilmington set a curfew on Saturday evening in response to looting in one area.

Parts of southern North Carolina and northeastern SC could see another foot or more of rain over the weekend, according to National Weather Service.

"Many people who think the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat", he said, adding: "Don't go back until this storm passes and you get the official all clear". Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said Saturday morning.

The storm is still leaving a path of destruction across the two states, despite its top sustained wind speeds weakening to 72km/h.

Jacob Fernandez (left) and Josh Fernandez play around on the tree that fell near their home as Hurricane Florence passed through the area on Friday in Bolivia, N.C.

Firefighters said the area had not been in the zone under evacuation orders.

"The slow motion of the storm will make this a very prolonged flood event", Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said in a briefing.

The figure for SC was 170,000. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

Crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground, Roberts said.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience".

As for the landslides, Gov. Henry McMaster did warn about possible landslides in the state, but he was referring to northwestern portions of the state, not the Grand Strand. More than 60 people, including many children, were evacuated from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after strong winds collapsed part of the roof. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

Prisoners were affected, too.

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.

Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.

Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia. Floyd produced 24 inches of rain in some parts of the state, while Florence has already dumped about 30 inches in areas around Swansboro.

The slow-moving storm is still dumping colossal amounts of rain on North Carolina and parts of northern SC.

More than 2 feet of rain already had fallen in places, and the drenching went on and on as Florence, a hurricane-turned-tropical storm, practically parked itself over the two states. It hit the coast as a Category 1 storm with 90 miles per hour maximum sustained winds, the NWS said.

Authorities in the USA state of North Carolina have warned residents that flooding could get worse.

Not everyone was taking Florence too seriously: About two dozen locals gathered Thursday night behind the boarded-up windows of The Barbary Coast bar as Florence blew into Wilmington.

"We'll operate without power; we have candles".

"This is our only home. We got thrown into mailboxes, houses, trees", said Holt, who had stayed at home because of a doctor's appointment that was later canceled. We chose to hunker down.

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