A.M. Update: Prolonged rain will bring floods

     HURRICANE FLORENCE Brave volunteers defy the danger and continue to rescue residents and pets

Getty HURRICANE FLORENCE Brave volunteers defy the danger and continue to rescue residents and pets

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center.

The dead included a mother and baby killed when a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina. The father was transported to the hospital with injuries.

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her.

It already had, in Beaufort County and its capital city, Washington, where 300 people were rescued from flooded homes. A 77-year-old man was apparently knocked down by the wind and died after going out to check on his hunting dogs, Lenoir County authorities said.

New Bern has been one of the hardest hit areas by Florence, experiencing a 10-and-a-half-foot storm surge.

Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street. "Don't drive across standing or moving water". "My wife's in a panic right now".

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is giving another update on the state's response to Tropical Storm Florence.

Flash flood are expected to his the south-east coast as the storm moves across land.

Nakisa Glover, a National Climate Justice Fellow at Hip Hop Caucus based in North Carolina, said in a phone interview that while the mandatory evacuation orders might make "logical sense in theory, if you don't have the resources, you can't just leave your home in a lot of cases".

As of 2 p.m., Florence was centred about 50 miles (85 kilometres) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, inching west at 3 mph (6 kph) - about as fast as a person walks.

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.

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem. Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.

Although Brunswick County is under mandatory evacuation, Ingram said some people made a decision to stay in their homes.

New Bern resident Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. They ventured out in life jackets into the waste-deep water to tie the boat and another floating by to a tree.

Retired Marine Garland King and his wife, Katherine, evacuated their home in New Bern on Friday and returned Saturday, sharing a kiss and joining hands as they drew near their house.

"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said.

"Amazing. They did awesome", said Knox, who was stranded with seven others, including a boy who was carried out in a life vest. Trump planned a visit to the region next week. "In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina in southwest Virginia".

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