• Remnants of Florence move out of Georgia, cause disastrous flooding across Carolinas

    By: Katie Walls , Chris Jose


    ATLANTA, Ga. - The cloudy sky and light rain showers across north Georgia on Sunday were thanks to what is now tropical depression Florence. 

    Sunday’s official high topped out at 81 degrees.

    [DOWNLOAD: Free Severe Weather Team 2 App]

    “It has been more than three weeks since we have experienced a high that cool,” said Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Katie Walls. 

    The cloud cover helped keep the temperature down after the last couple of days of being in the mid-90s. 

    [PHOTOS: Water rescues, damage as Florence impacts Carolinas]

    Walls said Florence has made the turn northward, speeding up to about 14 mph versus the 3 mph it was crawling at just about 24 hours ago. The storm was downgraded to a depression around 5 a.m. Sunday.

    “That is going to drive the heaviest rain north out of South Carolina, eventually out of North Carolina – although it will likely be another couple of days before all is said and done in North Carolina,” Walls said.

    Channel 2 WSB-TV is activating the “Convoy of Care” with our partners at Caring for Others, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, News 95.5 AM750 WSB, B98.5, KISS 104.1 and 97.1 FM to help the flood-ravaged communities of the Carolinas. Click here for more information

    Florence has brought catastrophic flooding to North Carolina and South Carolina since it made landfall as a Category 1 storm on Thursday. 

    Walls said the rainfall totals so far from Florence across the Carolinas is staggering. 

    The most amount of rain recorded so far is in Swansboro, North Carolina, with a total of nearly 34 inches of rain. 

    Channel 2’s Chris Jose and photojournalist Brandon Bryant are making their way to Fayetteville, North Carolina from South Carolina. 

    Jose said they have found many flooded roads along the way, to include Interstate 95.  

    While they were traveling through some of the back roads Sunday around Latta, South Carolina, they found a woman yelling for help after flood waters surrounded her car, trapping her inside. 

    Bryant hopped out of their SUV and helped the woman get to dry land. 

    Jose and Bryant ended up Laurinburg, North Carolina where they found rising creeks had spilled into the streets, homes were flooded and the area creeks were supposed to rise even higher. 

    First responders told Jose even emergency shelters were flooding, forcing search and rescue teams to help those who heeded the evacuation orders. 

    Howard Alford said his mother's house was surrounded by water. 

    "She got rescued and they made her stay in the church," Alford said.

    Jaylyn McCray told Jose that he doesn't think his home will make it through the night. 

    "It’s on the porch, coming into the house so we had to evacuate. So we got here as fast as we could," McCray said.

    Channel 2's sister station, WSOC-TV, confirmed with officials late Sunday that a 3-month-old child was killed in Gaston County, North Carolina, when a tree fell their home. 

    The child, identified by his family as Kade Gill, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    The family was home in the living room when the tree landed on the home, family members said.

    "He was unresponsive," father Olen Gill said. "As I approached the room, I see them pumping on his chest, and that time, I knew that it wasn't good."

    "He was a fighter in the beginning. He came five weeks early, survived the NICU 10 days," mother Tammy Gill said.

    Officials confirmed to ABC News that at least 17 people have died in South and North Carolina. 

    Parts across the Charlotte, North Carolina metro area were seeing significant flooding from Florence throughout Sunday. Union County, North Carolina, east of Charlotte, seemed to be one of the heaviest hit areas.

    A flash flood emergency was issued for southeast Mecklenburg and Union Counties, with a curfew issued for Union starting at 7 p.m., until 7 a.m. Monday.

    New evacuation orders were issued Sunday for a mile-long area along the Cape Fear and Little rivers in North Carolina. More than 700,000 households and businesses in the state were still without power as of Sunday afternoon, an estimated 15,000 people were in shelters, and 171 primary roads were closed including parts of two interstates, authorities said.

    "It's bad right now, and we do expect it to get worse over the coming days," Michael Sprayberry, director of North Carolina Emergency Management, said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "We know that's going to be a major mission going forward because this is historic and unprecedented flooding."

    The White House released a statement Sunday afternoon saying President Trump was receiving regular updates on the storm's status:

    "Today, President Trump continues to monitor the preparedness and response efforts for Hurricane Florence. He was briefed again this afternoon by Sec. Nielsen, Admiral Schultz and Administrator Long.  Yesterday, he spoke with Mayor Brenda Bethune of Myrtle Beach, SC and Mayor Dana Outlaw of New Bern, NC. They discussed the rescue and response efforts in those communities and the President offered the full support of Federal government. Mayor Outlaw thanked President Trump for immediately authorizing the emergency declaration."

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