Wind speeds are kicking up far from the coast in central SC as Hurricane Florence slowly makes its way along the coast.
At the W. H. Weatherspoon Power Station near Lumberton, Sheehan said it had already rained more than 30 inches (75 centimeters) by Saturday evening, causing a nearby swamp to overflow into the plants cooling pond.
The storm is still leaving a path of destruction across the two states, despite its top sustained wind speeds weakening to 72km/h.
It diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, but forecasters said the 560km-wide storm's slow progress across North and SC could leave much of the region under water in the coming days.
Homes have been washed away by storm surge or made unlivable by standing water, fallen trees or other debris.
Forecasters say catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected over parts of North Carolina and SC ahead. Swansboro, a town near North Carolina's coast, received 30.58 inches of rainfall as of Saturday morning, setting a record for tropical storm-associated rainfall in the state, meteorologist David Roth said.
"This storm is still deadly and risky and it's expected to turn northward later today into Virginia and the mid-Atlantic", he said.
Hong Kong and southern China hunkered down under red alert as strong winds and heavy rain from Typhoon Mangkhut lash the densely populated coast. People in nearby communities are being told to get to higher ground.
That is because of a combination of geography, climatic conditions and human factors. Floyd was a Category 2 hurricane moving at 17 miles per hour.
About a million customers in the two states are without power, the New York Times reports.
As Florence moves further inland over the coming days, the storm is expected to gradually weaken.
The water in the Western Pacific is warmer, and warm water fuels storms.
"The main thing right now is to get this water pumped down" from the city, he said.
"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said. That shows another big difference in the storms.
At times, Florence was moving forward no faster than a human can walk, and it has remained such a wide storm that its counter-clockwise winds keep scooping up massive amounts of moisture from the sea. Not so the more southerly Mangkhut, which, Maue said, "essentially had a flawless environment to intensify to a Category 5 and stay there".
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Forecasters say prolonged rainfall from Florence could produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding. Both storms cover a large area, but Mangkhut still dwarfs Florence. Duke spokeswoman Paige Sheehan said about 2,000 cubic yards (1,530 cubic meters) of ash were displaced at the Sutton Plant and that contaminated storm water likely flowed into the plant's cooling pond. This is one reason why, when disaster does strike, the effects can be devastating.
New Bern has been one of the hardest hit areas by Florence, experiencing a 10-and-a-half-foot storm surge.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesVolunteers from all over North Carolina help rescue residents from their flooded homes during Hurricane Florence September 14, 2018 in New Bern, North Carolina.