Pres. Trump calls North Carolina officials to offer support

150 people trapped by Florence floodwaters in New Bern, NC

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Hennessy-Fiske reported from Conway, S.C., Megerian from New Bern, N.C., and Jarvie from Fayetteville, N.C.

Earlier Saturday, officials in North Carolina's Carteret County said two other people were dead as a result of the storm.

The Navy says the aircraft will make their way back beginning Saturday, and the ships will start to return Sunday.

President Donald Trump is pictured speaking during a Congressional Medal of Honor Society Reception in the East Room of the White House. No. 2 Clemson and Georgia Southern got a sunny sky in Clemson, South Carolina, while every other major school in the region called off or relocated games because of Florence.

McMaster had ordered residents in most of the state's coastal counties to evacuate ahead of Florence's arrival. The flooding began on barrier islands in North Carolina and then spread into coastal and river communities there and in SC, swamping the white sands and golf courses in North Myrtle Beach.

More than 360 people had been rescued by midafternoon Friday, hours after then-Hurricane Florence swept through, but another 140 were still waiting for help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told The Associated Press. Forecasters said the torrents could continue for days, touching off disastrous flooding.

"If it goes up to my front step, I have to get out", Quintin Washington said.

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles (560 kilometres) wide, Florence continued deluging the Carolinas on Saturday morning after pushing surging seas far ashore.

Rescue crews have used boats to reach hundreds besieged by the rising waters.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out as the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble.

Kevin Knox and his family were rescued from their flooded brick home with the help of Army Sgt. Johan Mackie, part of a team that was using a phone app to locate people in distress. Mackie rode in a boat through a flooded neighborhood, navigating through trees and past a fencepost to reach the Knox house. "If not we'd be stuck upstairs for the next ... how long? I have no idea".

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras. He said "if those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters". Rivers have burst their banks as the rain consistently falls with the slow-moving storm.

"It's a big task, because our main priority is protecting lives", Jon Ingram, the Brunswick County, North Carolina sheriff, said on Saturday during an interview with FOX Business' Neil Cavuto.

"It is the water, it's the surge, it's the rain that effects and can kill you more than the wind can in a hurricane", FEMA Associate Administrator Jeff Byard warned on Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm but said life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic freshwater flooding were expected over portions of North and SC.

The mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell on their house, the governor said, while confirming another death in Lenoir County. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

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