Relentless Florence pummels the Carolina coast


Tropical Storm Florence trudged inland on Saturday, flooding rivers and towns, toppling trees and cutting power to nearly a million homes and businesses.

After smashing into the North Carolina coast, tropical storm Florence lumbered inland on Saturday — dumping sheets of rain — setting up deadly floods across the region.

REPORTER ANDY SULLIVAN ON-CAMERA SAYING: “I’m Andy Sullivan in Columbia South Carolina where Florence is just now making her presence felt — trudging across the Carolinas at 2 miles an hour — slower than a person can walk. It’s been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm at this point, and that means the winds are less of a threat than they were before — But this rain isn’t going to let up for several days — leaving a good portion of two states under water.”

At least five people have died so far in the storm — some 10 million at risk. Nearly 1 million without power.

Several rivers in North Carolina already at flood stage and predicted to rise further.

Along the coast, rescuers searched for those trapped in their houses.

Authorities telling people to stay indoors — keep off the roads and out of the water.

SOUNDBITE: (D) NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR , ROY COOPER SAYING: “We face walls of water at our coast, along our rivers, across farmland, in our cities and in our towns.”

Leslie Ochoa loaded up 10 adults, 5 children, 14 goats, 10 dogs and one guinea pig and evacuted from Jacksonville North Carolina last Tuesday. She might not be able to return until the middle of next week.

SOUNDBITE SCHOOL TEACHER, LESLIE OCHOA SAYING : “I don’t think we’re going to be able to get back because of the flooding. All the highways they have, all the major roads around their are flooded and there are a lot of trees and powerlines that are down, which they don’t want people on the roads because then they’re going to get electrocuted. And out friend behind our old house have gators swimming in the water…so yeah, not safe.”

REPORTER ANDY SULLIVAN ON-CAMERA SAYING: “Those who stayed behind face a different set of problems — gas stations running out of fuel, restaurants and supermarkets closed — and the waters continuing to rise. Their troubles likely are just beginning.”