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Uninvited brute: Florence leaves 7 dead in Carolinas

America   About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed

A weakened Florence slowed to a crawl over South Carolina Saturday, but is expected to pummel the area with powerful winds, storm surges and as much as 15 more inches of rain into the weekend before sliding inward and heading toward the Ohio Valley.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an “uninvited brute” that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.

About 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians have been deployed, with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

“The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending,” Cooper said.

Since marching ashore Friday near Wilmington, North Carolina, as a hurricane, Florence has claimed at least seven lives, caused widespread flooding and knocked out power to nearly 900,000 homes in the Carolinas, according to

Now, as a tropical storm, Florence is expected to dump an additional 10 to 15 inches of rain in parts of North and South Carolina, with storm totals reaching 30 to 40 inches along the North Carolina coastal area south of Cape Hatteras.

The National Hurricane Center warned that Florence will continue to produce "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding."

At 5 a.m. EST Saturday, the center of the storm was about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds at 50 mph. It was moving at a paltry 5 mph.

At least seven hurricane-related fatalities were reported since Florence slammed ashore early Friday.


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