Florence death toll up at 11, including 3 killed by flooding

'Relentless rains' continue as Florence nearly stalls over Carolinas

'It Looks Like a Battlefield': Man Trapped in Home By Florence Speaks With 'Fox & Friends'

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm but flooding and heavy rain are still a danger to residents of the Carolinas, weather officials say.

With the eye of Florence stalled near the coast, the half of the storm still out over the Atlantic continued to collect warm ocean water and dump it on land.

There are at least two other coal-fired Duke plants in North Carolina that are likely to be affected by the storm.

At 5 am Sunday, Florence was about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southwest of Columbia, South Carolina.

The storm surge of up to 13 feet (3.9 m) will be "life threatening" and rainfall of up to 40 inches (101.6 cm) will mean "catastrophic" flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Winds have dropped to about 40 miles per hour (65 kph) since it roared ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane and it is crawling west over two states at 6 mph (9 kph), the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Sunday.

The parts of the country still in the storm's path have been saturated by summer rains and can not soak up any surplus from Florence.

Experts say Mangkhut may well end up being the deadlier storm.

"Know that water is rising fast everywhere, even in places that don't typically flood", said Governor Roy Cooper. Rivers will continue to rise days after the rain has stopped, he said.

"This is a hurricane event followed by a flood event", said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. More than 26,000 hunkered down in shelters.

"Just turn around and don't drown", officials said.

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Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the northern Philippines on Saturday, with its powerful winds and rain setting off landslides and destroying homes, leaving at least three people dead and six missing, as the storm barrelled toward southern China.

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit hurricane-hit areas next week "once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts". With rivers swelling toward record levels, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate for fear the next few days could bring the most destructive round of flooding in North Carolina history.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said radar and rain gauges indicated some areas got as much as 2½ feet of rain, which he called "absolutely staggering".

"The worst is yet to come", he added.

-So far: roughly 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain have fallen north of Swansboro, North Carolina, and it's only going to get worse.

The coal-fired Sutton plant was retired in 2013 and the company has been excavating millions of tons of ash from old waste pits and removing it to safer lined landfills constructed on the property.

In a separate briefing, Steve Goldstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said some areas have already received two feet of rain and could expect up to 20 inches more as the system moved "slowly, almost stationary" over eastern North Carolina.

Before sunrise, high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Florence hits Swansboro N.C., on September 14, 2018.

The city of about 29,000, which was founded in the early 1700s, is near the North Carolina coast and is bordered on the east and south, respectively, by two rivers. Some area residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit.

Forecasters say heavy rains also are expected early in the week.

The White House said President Trump had issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina a day earlier, freeing up funds for housing and home fix.

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