Florence, a wet and unwanted visitor, besieges Carolinas

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionBBC on the ground as Hurricane Florence arrives

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBBC on the ground as Hurricane Florence arrives

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned Saturday that the volume of rainwater Florence will drop in the coming days may cause flooding not seen at least in a generation.

That's about 220 miles from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, where Florence made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at 7:15 a.m. September 14, coming ashore along a mostly boarded-up, emptied-out stretch of coastline. And about 46 miles farther up the waterfront, in New Bern, about 150 people were waiting to be rescued from floods on the Neuse River, WXII-TV reported.

He said he believed that crews wouldn't be able to get to him as of Saturday morning, as floodwaters were chest-high.

"It's the first time we've ever had to move anything like this", Rose said.

Florence "will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and SC for some time", NOAA official Steve Goldstein said.

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged, significant river flooding", the hurricane center said.

In South Carolina, emergency managers were watching several northeastern rivers that flooded two years ago during Hurricane Matthew, destroying homes and government offices.

As it made landfall on the U.S. southeast coast on Friday, Florence buckled buildings, flooded entire communities and left more than 900,000 homes and businesses without power.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is unbelievable and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood.

Cooper warned: "Don't drive through water, no matter how confident you feel or how much you want to get out of the house".

"Please be safe and be smart and use your common sense", Cooper added.

On Thursday, Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds (193 km).

The center of the eye of the hurricane made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, and was moving slowly westward just south of Wilmington.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington. The child's injured father was taken to hospital.

In Lenoir County, North Carolina a person died while plugging in a generator.

The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said more than 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

More than 360 people had been rescued by midafternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

U.S. correspondent Cordelia Lynch, who is in New Bern, said: "This community in the weeks and months to come is up against a great deal of flooding".

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power.

The figure for SC was 170,000.

More than 20,000 people were in 157 shelters in North Carolina, with almost 6,000 in SC shelters, officials said. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.

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