Research

A.M. Update: Prolonged rain will bring floods

A.M. Update: Prolonged rain will bring floods

Members of the North Carolina National Guard finish stacking sand bags under a highway overpass near the Lumber River which is expected to flood from Hurricane Florence's rain in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

Hurricane Florence was making landfall in North Carolina early Friday pushing a life-threatening storm surge for miles inland with screaming wind that was destroying buildings in its path.

With a plodding pace belying still-unspent fury, Tropical Storm Florence pushed deeper into the Carolinas on Saturday, inundating homes, toppling trees and pushing rivers far beyond their banks as rescuers rushed to keep pace.

Florence peaked at a terrifying Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph over warm ocean water before making 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.

Tropical Storm Florence, downgraded from a hurricane Friday, remains over the Grand Strand Saturday with the National Weather Service warning of potential flash flooding and storm surge.

This story will be updated with additional information momentarily.

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

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

On the other side of the world, meanwhile, more than a dozen people have died as Typhoon Mangkhut rips through the Philippines.

More news: GM Recalls 1 Million Pickups, SUVs to Fix Power-Steering Flaw

"The water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood", he said.

Power outages affecting more than 900,000 in Carolinas.

But for many residents in the low-income communities most threatened by the storm's wake of devastation, evacuation was never a possibility. He said "if those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters".

A mother and baby were killed after a large tree fell on their home in Wilmington, while in Pender County a woman died of a heart attack after storm debris prevented paramedics from reaching her.

Nearly 800,000 people are reported to be without power already in North Carolina, and officials have warned restoring electricity could take days or even weeks.

The reporter, Mike Seidel, was reporting from Wilmington, N.C., Friday afternoon, where he was shown hunched over and appearing to brace against a strong wind.

On Saturday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned of "epic" levels of rainfall.

By Friday evening, the Cape Fear River in Wilmington saw storm surge flowing north being met with rainwater flowing west, giving the water nowhere to go.

The storm roared ashore under the cover of darkness, pummeling the region with pounding rain, widespread flooding and catastrophic winds. The city said two FEMA teams were working on swift-water rescues and more were on the way. She retreated and was eventually rescued by a boat crew; 140 more awaited assistance.