Daily Mercury - - WORLD -

THE Marines, the Coast Guard, civil­ian crews and vol­un­teers used heli­copters, boats and heavy-duty ve­hi­cles Satur­day to res­cue hun­dreds of peo­ple trapped by Florence’s on­slaught, even as North Carolina braced for what could be the next stage of the dis­as­ter: wide­spread, cat­a­strophic flood­ing in­land.

The death toll from the hur­ri­cane-turned-trop­i­cal storm climbed to 11. A day af­ter blow­ing ashore with 145km\h winds, Florence prac­ti­cally parked it­self over land all day long and poured on the rain. With rivers swelling to­wards 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.

More than 60cm of rain had fallen in places, and the drench­ing went on and on, with fore­cast­ers say­ing there could be an ad­di­tional 45cm by the end of the week­end.

In New Bern , along the coast, homes were sur­rounded by wa­ter, and res­cuers used in­flat­able boats to reach peo­ple.

Pic­ture: AP

Robert Sim­mons Jr and his kit­ten "Sur­vivor" are res­cued from flood­wa­ters af­ter Hur­ri­cane Florence dumped heavy rain in New Bern, North Carolina.

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