And they say people who are truly in an emergency should call 911, not just Tweet about it.
Straddling the famous Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is also bedeviled by volcanoes and earthquakes, and while there are considerable patches of poverty in North and SC, it is not the same as the rural area where Mangkhut hit.
"This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall".
Craven County emergency crews put out the message to people stranded to shelter in place, as 150 people were waiting for help before midnight Thursday.
It's about the water, not the wind, with Florence making an extended stay along the North Carolina coast.
Storms in the western Pacific generally hit with much higher winds and the people who live in their way are often poorer and more vulnerable, Princeton University hurricane and climate scientist Gabriel Vecchi said Saturday. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.
At least seven people, including a mother and an infant, were killed in the storm.
The federal government's approval late Friday of a major disaster declaration in North Carolina means immediate funds can go to help with damage repairs and recovery for eight coastal counties, Cooper said. And a man was blown away by strong winds while outside checking on his dogs.
Officials in SC said a 61-year-old woman died when her auto struck a tree that had fallen across a highway near the town of Union.
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.
"The town is a mess, but for most people it will just be a matter of cleaning up", he said.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.
"The wind was so hard, the waters were so hard, that trying to get out we got thrown into trailers".
A wind gust at the Wilmington airport was clocked at 105 miles per hour (nearly 170 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958.
"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU" - that's what the city of New Bern, North Carolina, tweeted after hundreds of people needed rescue from rising waters from the Neuse River, and a TV station had to evacuate its newsroom in the middle of its hurricane coverage.
Protected: More than 20,000 people in shelters in North Carolina, 6,400 in SC and 400 in Virginia. That's enough water to fill the Chesapeake Bay or to cover the state of Texas in 4 inches. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings all across the Carolinas, including Moore County and Lee County.
Florence's remnants are expected to keep traveling north and then northeast and could drop several inches of rain in eastern Tennessee and eastern Kentucky, southwest Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
As of noon, Emerald Isle had over 23 inches of rain, and Wilmington and Goldsboro had about a foot.
With the downgraded Tropical Storm Florence moving into South Carolina, Twin Counties officials are easing some restrictions and services.
In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people. Gov. Roy Cooper warned, describing day after day of disastrous weather to come.
Three medical centers have been set up in North Carolina.
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