Gov. McMaster cautions SC residents as Hurricane Florence moves toward state

CBS News

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

"The flood danger from this storm is more immediate today than when it made landfall 24 hours ago", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said on Saturday.

Officials in North Myrtle Beach, where some flooding was occurring, did report some delays in their 911 emergency system, according to a news release, but their public safety personnel are still out in the community. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.

Zooming out to the full projection, shown above, the core of the storm is slated to enter North Carolina around 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Utility crews worked to restore electricity even as flood waters inundated whole communities.

About 809,000 of those customers are North Carolina, and about 155,000 are in SC.

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.

Florence made landfall 10 miles east of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds.

Navy ships will begin returning to southeast Virginia on Sunday but at least one jurisdiction on southwestern Virginia declared a state of emergency on Saturday, as officials predicted that Tropical Storm Florence might threaten parts of the state with catastrophic flooding this week.

Doll said that people living in low-lying areas next to streams, creeks and rivers, especially in farther inland areas, need to pay attention and evacuate in case rivers start flooding.

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The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical storm climbed to at least five.

By tomorrow afternoon, the center of Florence is expected to be across western SC.

That's how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina's New River Inlet.

In Wilmington, a city of about 120,000 on North Carolina's Atlantic coastline, along the Cape Fear River that is home to historic mansions, streets were strewn with downed tree limbs and carpeted with leaves and other debris. He said the gust was the strongest recorded in Wilmington since 1958.

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

South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding. "We face walls of water at our coasts, along our rivers, across our farmland, in our cities and in our towns", he added. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

The hurricane center said the storm will eventually break up over the southern Appalachians and make a right hook to the northeast, its rainy remnants moving into the mid-Atlantic states and New England by the middle of next week.

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

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.

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