Weather Channel Reporter Mocked for Appearing to Exaggerate Florence

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Members of the North Carolina National Guard finish stacking sand bags under a highway overpass near the Lumber River which is expected to flood from Hurricane Florence's rain in Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018.

Power outages are widespread, affecting over 740,000 homes and businesses in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC. And even if their homes survived intact, hundreds of thousands of utility customers who lack power have limited food options.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is fantastic and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday. "Work will begin when conditions safely allow", the company said on its website on Saturday.

New Bern spokeswoman Colleen Roberts said 455 people in all were rescued in the town of 30,000 residents without any serious injuries or deaths.

As 400-mile-wide (645-kilometer-wide) Florence pounded away at the coast with torrential downpours and surging seas, rescue crews used boats to reach more than 360 people besieged by rising waters in New Bern, North Carolina, while many of their neighbors awaited help. These rains are expected to produce "prolonged, significant river flooding".

"I don't see any portion of the state of North or SC that's not going to be impacted in some way", said Cline.

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"Maybe the communities of color that are expected to feel the greatest burden of a disaster like this don't have time to have a conversation like this with the media because they're fighting for their lives, they're fighting for their very survival", she said.

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.

A 41-year-old mother and her 7-month-old son were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home, officials said.

More than 300 volunteers from nine U.S. states have joined the relief effort in North Carolina, according to ABC News. "People that live in flood-prone areas near creeks and rivers need to be prepared".

State emergency officials said Thursday they had no way of tracking how many residents from the Carolinas had escaped to Florida this week.

Three died in one inland county, Duplin, because of water on roads and flash floods, the sheriff's office said. A 78-year-old man connecting extension cords in the rain was electrocuted, according to Roger Dail, the Lenoir County director of emergency services.

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"I'll tell you, this one is so widespread, you're going to have a hard time finding a North Carolinian who is not going to be affected by this storm in some way", Cooper said.

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.

Hurricane Florence is dumping rain on North Carolina and pushing a storm surge taller than most humans onto communities near the coast.

View of Florence in Wilmington, N.C., on Friday.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

The military is providing assistance to flood ravaged SC. Trump plans a visit to the region next week.

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