7 killed as hurricane Florence pummels Carolinas

Florence pours on the rain in the Carolinas death toll at 5

More than 430,000 people in North and SC are without power, and water is rising along the coast, where people in some towns have experienced dramatic rescues due to the towering storm surge. In South Carolina, a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway.

North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper said: "Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood".

In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed hotel.

In its initial onslaught along the coast, Florence buckled buildings, deluged entire communities and knocked out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses.

A 78-year-old man in Kinston, North Carolina, was electrocuted when he tried to connect two extension cords outside in the rain, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

"It is the water, it's the surge, it's the rain that effects and can kill you more than the wind can in a hurricane", FEMA Associate Administrator Jeff Byard warned on Saturday.

USA Today is providing live drone footage over Fayetteville, N.C. where major flooding is the lingering aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

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

There have been seven storm-related deaths since Florence, then a Category-1 hurricane, made landfall Friday morning. It blew ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline.

In Wilmington, an all-time-record water level was recorded on Friday, qualifying the storm as a 1-in-a-100-year weather event.

The rest of SC into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia is expected to report 5 to 10 inches of additional rainfall, with isolated cases of 15 inches.

Meanwhile, Florence crept across the border into SC overnight, with tropical storm-force winds still extending 175 miles from the center. The slow-moving storm is still dumping colossal amounts of rain on North Carolina and parts of northern SC.

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

In Wilmington, with roads leading in and out of the city underwater and streams still swelling upward, residents waited for hours outside stores and restaurants for basic necessities like water.

Florence was slowly grinding over the eastern states, with winds of 65mph (105km/h).

Officials said floodwaters from other areas are accumulating north of the county and filling the river basins beyond their capacities.

Floodwaters surged over roads, prompting the closing of Interstate 95 just north of the Carolinas' border. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimetres) of water.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.

"Over many months, it went to 64 people", Trump tweeted.

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. We got thrown into mailboxes.

Courageous volunteers are seen defying the danger and continuing to rescue residents and their pets.

"What we want to try to do is to minimize the time that people spend in their shelters that they're in right now", Sprayberry said.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington". Her 6-foot-2 husband went to see what he could do, but the water was above his chest, she said.

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