Tropical Storm edges off North Carolina coast

Florence has weakened into a tropical depression but flash flooding and major river flooding are expected to continue over significant portions of the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center says in its 5 a.m. update Sunday that excessive amounts of rain are still being dumped in North Carolina and the effect is expected to be “catastrophic.” An elevated risk of landslides is now expected in western North Carolina.

Rivers are swelling toward record levels, forecasters now warn, and thousands of people in the state have been ordered to evacuate for fear that the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued a flood advisory for Moore County until Sunday 1:45 p.m.  Emergency crews from out of state were called to help in Moore County.

Water rescue specialists traveled from Michigan Friday to assist the Crains Creek Fire Department while help from Kentucky was sent in to Pinebluff Fire and Rescue Department.

Crains Creek Fire Department said there is flooding in the area of Riverview Acres along Crains Creek and Little River.  “Please pay close attention,” said the department in a written statement. “Roads are starting to be shut down due to high water and the water is rising at a steady pace. Please be safe and help us be safe.”

Twenty-five residents from Crains Creek have voluntarily evacuated their area.

Fayetteville’s city officials, meanwhile, got help from the Nebraska Task Force One search and rescue team to evacuate some 140 residents of an assisted living facility in Fayetteville to a safer location at a church.

As of Sunday morning, 23,504 Moore County homes are experiencing power outages, according to information provided by the county’s four service providers.

At 5 a.m. Sunday, Florence was about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina. It has top sustained winds of 25 mph (55 kph) and is moving west at 8 mph (13 kph).

The death toll from the hurricane-turned-tropical depression climbed to 11.

Feature photo: Walmart customer braving the weather Saturday in front of barricade entrance.

This article was written with the help of The Associated Press.

Copyright 2018, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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