Storm chaser records Florence battering Carolina coast

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It already had, in Beaufort County and its capital city, Washington, where 300 people were rescued from flooded homes.

In Kinston, more than an hour's drive inland from the coast, Lenoir County spokesman Bryan Hanks said a man was electrocuted as he attempted to connect extension cords outside in the rain. It's believed he died after he was blown down while going outside to check on his dogs.

The sixth Florence related death is also the first reported in South Carolina, according to both the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Union County Coroner's Office. An investigation is underway, but officials said it appears there's no reason for others at the shelter to worry. The number of people still not rescued fell to about 40 by Friday afternoon, according to New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence broke a North Carolina rainfall record that had stood for nearly 20 years: Preliminary reports showed Swansboro got more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) and counting, obliterating the mark set in 1999, when Hurricane Floyd dropped just over 24 inches (60 centimeters) on the state.

The storm hit land as a Category 1 storm with a wind roam of 100 forty 5 km/h Friday morning.

Still big: tropical-force winds extending out up to 175 miles from the center.

But a state lawmaker said that hurricanes have led to unsafe spills in recent years and North Carolina's laws are too lax to confront severe storms such as Florence.

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.

In Hampstead, North Carolina, a woman died of a heart attack on Friday since emergency crews could not reach her due to fallen trees in road, local media reported. More than 1 million people have been told to evacuate. A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, NC, has shut operations.

More news: As Florence Surges Forward, Rethinking What Hurricane Preparation Looks Like

Duke Energy, which provides electricity to customers in eastern North Carolina, has roughly 380,000 customers without power.

The hurricane was "wreaking havoc" and could wipe out entire communities as it makes its "violent grind across our state for days", the governor said.

A driver in a pickup truck drove standing water and lost control of the vehicle near Gilbert, SC on Sunday morning, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

"There is going to be a lot of rain".

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

The US National Weather Service has released a flash flood warning as authorities were scrambling to reach almost 150 people now stranded.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm. Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said.

Crews from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Agency were working with citizen volunteers to get people to dry ground, Roberts said. The National Weather Service measured storm surge in New Bern at 10 feet deep. Flooding is expected throughout our area. In the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores could get gusty winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Helene this weekend, while Isaac regained tropical storm strength after earlier weakening in the Caribbean Sea.

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