Carolina Residents Who Refused to Evacuate Calling for Help

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Carteret County officials said Saturday that two people had died there, but the cause of those deaths couldn't be determined.

Florence is 350 miles (560 km) wide and has travelled 4,000 miles across the ocean from west Africa.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this storm", Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release.

Forecasters say it is now moving into eastern SC, crawling along at just 3mph (4.8km/h). The Cajun Navy, a Louisiana-based group of private boat owners whose role proved pivotal in Texas during Hurricane Harvey, had rescued more than 150 people by Friday alone.

Rivers and creeks rose toward record levels, threatening flash flooding that could devastate communities and endanger dams, roads and bridges.

North Carolina utilities have estimated that as many as 2.5 million state residents could be left without power, the state's Department of Public Safety said.

Firefighters arrive at a home where a large tree fell on that had three people trapped, after Hurricane Florence hit the area, on September 14, 2018 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows broken.

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said.

Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m.at Wrightsville Beach, a few miles east of Wilmington and not far from the SC line, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. It continues to chug west, slowing down from 5 miles per hour to 2 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center said as much as 40in (102cm) was expected on the southeastern coast of North Carolina and part of northeastern SC.

She estimated 441,000 people have already evacuated because of the storm.

Authorities in SC reported their first death from the storm, saying a woman died in a auto crash on Highway 18 in Union County late on Friday when the roof of her vehicle struck a fallen tree.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Florence to a tropical storm on Friday and expected to further downgrade it to a tropical depression by Saturday night.

More than two feet of water had already fallen in some places and was not expected to stop soon.

The military announced Saturday morning it was deploying almost 200 soldiers to assist in Hurricane Florence response and recovery efforts, along with 100 trucks and equipment.

Jon Wright considers himself one of the lucky residents of Wilmington, N.C. - so far.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", Ballance said.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, officials had rescued more than 60 people overnight from a hotel that was collapsing in the storm. Highways and secondary road closures were reported throughout eastern North Carolina.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that Florence could dump a staggering 18 trillion gallons of rain over a week on North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Maryland.

George Pace returned to his neighborhood and saw his home for the first time, expecting the worst, but discovering only minimal damage.

"Our friend behind our old house, they have gators swimming in the water". She said medical staff is working 12-hour shifts, "which is their typical shift", and are being kept at the hospital until conditions are safe.

The White House said President Donald Trump approved making federal funding available in some counties.

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