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Rescue operations are underway Saturday in the Carolinas after Tropical Storm Florence battered homes up and down the coast, killing at least seven people and leaving millions of others in the dark.
Officials warned residents that while the wind has backed off some, the torrential downpour will likely continue through the weekend, producing flash floods and making it difficult for evacuated residents to return home and assess the damage.
The article goes on to state the following:
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an “uninvited brute” that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.
“The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending,” he said.
Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday, but despite the dip, Florence continued deluging the area Saturday with storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide. It is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by late Saturday, forecasters said.
Some towns have already seen 2 feet of rain from Florence, with forecasters saying the number could go as high 3 1/2 feet and trigger epic flooding inland into early next week.
Friday saw frantic rescue operations underway, as first responders pulled more than 360 trapped and stranded residents to safety.
Authorities have confirmed seven deaths and fear the number will go higher as the tropical storm crawls westward Saturday across South Carolina.
Among those killed is a mother and her 8-month baby who were crushed when a tree fell on their house. The father was trapped inside for hours but first responders were able to get him out and take him to the hospital.
HEARTBREAKING: Florence claimed the lives of a mother and her baby in Wilmington, North Carolina. The two were killed after a tree fell on their home. In an emotional moment, firefighters could be seen kneeling and praying outside the family's home. https://t.co/DaL1t4raL3 pic.twitter.com/RG3G64HhwM
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) September 14, 2018
PRAY FOR THE CAROLINAS | A touching photo of NC Firefighters praying during an operation to remove a tree that fell on a house and killed a mother and her infant. Since then there have been more fatalities.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) September 14, 2018
Florence's death toll rises to 7 after authorities in Carteret County, NC, confirm 2 more deaths
— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) September 15, 2018
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Tropical Storm Florence weakens as death toll rises to at least 7 https://t.co/iRP1exyE3I
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 15, 2018
— Miami Herald (@MiamiHerald) September 15, 2018
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) September 15, 2018
All 13 #NEGuard Soldiers and 2 Blackhawk helicopters arrived at the McGhee Tyson ANG Base in Tennessee. The unit is now one of many waiting for the worst of #HurricaneFlorence to pass before moving further into the Carolinas to begin relief operations. #NationalGuard pic.twitter.com/piHMOZ4a1R
— NE National Guard (@NENationalGuard) September 15, 2018