Retired Marine Rescues North Carolina Storm Victims in Military Vehicle

Typhoon Mangkhut

About 70 miles (115 kilometers) away from the coast, residents near the Lumber River stepped from their homes directly into boats floating in their front yards; river forecasts showed the scene could be repeated in towns as far as 250 miles inland as waters rise for days.

Florence weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday, but that was little consolation to residents in North Carolina who have seen over 2 feet rain and are now fearing major river flooding to start the week.

Video from WXII 12 News show the animals struggling to cross a road in neck-deep water in New Bern, North Carolina.

One-year-old Oliver Kelly cries as he is carried off the sheriff's airboat during his rescue from rising flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Leland, N.C., on September 16, 2018. "This is an incredibly serious situation", it tweeted.

"That's enough to cause flooding in areas that have never flooded before until now".

That's the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system.

Florence was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical depression on Sunday morning.

"This is still a catastrophic, life threatening storm", said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center.

"Remember: Most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars", he said.

It has dumped up to 40 inches (100 cm) of rain on North Carolina since Thursday and continued to produce heavy rain over much of North Carolina and eastern SC, the NWS said.

Hurricane Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart
He added that the storm is moving so slowly - approximately five miles per hour - that he will be in the eye for quite a while. The National Weather Service shared images of Union Point on the shore at New Bern before and after the storm surge hit.

Florence punishes Carolinas with torrential rain, flooding; six dead
More than 60 people had to be rescued in another town as a cinderblock motel collapsed at the height of the storm's fury. In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, Florence overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

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Even though Florence is weakening, it will still bring significant rainfall inland to the Appalachians before moving toward the Northeast on Tuesday.

A woman and her baby were among the first casualties, when a tree fell on their house, contributing to a death toll that the US media said had reached 13 - 10 in North Carolina and three in SC, according to CNN.

SC also has a new record for rainfall in a single tropical system.

Up to 40 inches (102 cm) of rain are expected along coastal areas of the Carolinas and up to 10 inches in southwestern Virginia, the NHC said. "We continue to patrol the area, but people have already been through Matthew hurricane and know what to expect", he told AFP.

The derailment led to at least one road closure.

"The agriculture industry, the largest industry in our state is hard-hit".

"It's the first time we've ever had to move anything like this", Rose said. The intensity of the rain shouldn't be as extreme as it was Friday and Saturday, but downpours may not fully relent until some time on Monday.

"It's terrible", said Mitch Colvin, the mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the state, where the rising Cape Fear River was expected to swamp bridges and cut his city in two.

On Sunday night, Florence's remnants will finally be pulled north and, on Monday, it will unload very heavy rainfall in West Virginia and western Virginia, especially north of Roanoke and west of Charlottesville.

As rivers swelled, state regulators and environmental groups were monitoring the threat from huge hog and poultry farms located in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

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