As of the afternoon (local time) of Saturday, September 15, Florence is moving inland in South Carolina, bringing heavy rains to both North and South Carolina. As of 14:00 on Saturday, Florence, now downgraded to a tropical depression, was located 80 km (50 mi) west of Myrtle Beach, moving west at 4.8 km/h (3 mph), and bringing sustained winds of up 72 km/h (45 mph). The storm has killed at least nine people as of Saturday afternoon. In addition, at least 1 million households were left without power, including an estimated 800,000 in South Carolina.
Heavy rain is forecast to cause continued flooding in the coming hours and days, particularly on waterways in the Carolinas. According to the National Hurricane Center, the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay rivers could rise by up to 90-150 cm (3-5 ft) as of Saturday afternoon. An estimated 20-40 cm (8-16 in) of rain is forecast in North Carolina and parts of northern South Carolina, with isolated highs of up to 40-80 cm (16-32 in) in southern and southeastern North Carolina. As of Saturday afternoon, a storm surge warning is in effect from Myrtle Beach to Ocracoke Inlet, as well as in Pamlico Sound. Tropical storm warnings are also in effect from the South Santee river to Cape Lookout. As of Saturday, the storm is forecast to move westward, toward the Appalachian Mountains on Sunday, September 16, before curving northeast and following the mountain range toward New England.
Florence hit southern North Carolina on the morning of Friday, September 14, bringing winds of up to 144 km/h (90 mph) and storm surges as high as 3 m (10 ft). The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the largest concentration of storms typically occurring between August and October.
Individuals present in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate strong winds and heavy rain (and associated disruptions), and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities (including evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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