Trop. Storm Florence Saturday 11 a.m. Notes: Death Count to 7; Storm Moves Inland, Life-Threatening Flooding

By A.J. Katz 

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Downgraded to a tropical storm, as of 11 a.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 15, Florence has taken the lives of at least 7, and moved inland into South Carolina. It’s roughly 40 miles west of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (5 mph down from the 50 mph speed at 8 a.m. ET). Florence has almost come to a standstill, moving only 2 mph west.

According to the NOAA, Florence is crawling westward across eastern South Carolina, with heavy rains and catastrophic flooding and heavy flooding continuing across North and South Carolina.

Co-hosted by Sheinelle Jones and Peter Alexander, NBC Weekend Today went on at 7 a.m. ET this morning will stay on until Noon ET.

Alexander said the entire ordeal seems reminiscent of Hurricane Wilma in Mexico, which lasted for 100 hours, and had only 2-3 mph movement during a significant chunk of that time.

Among those NBC Newsers filing reports this morning, include Dylan Dreyer, Garrett Haake, Tammy Leitner, Joe Fryer, Kerry Sanders, and Craig Melvin, the latter reporting from Wilmington.

Leitner, stationed in North Myrtle Beach, said most of the homes in North Myrtle Beach are without power, and roughly 160,000 homes in South Carolina are without power.

“The main concern in the coming days is that the main rivers could crest, cause catastrophic flooding and could even wash out the main road in and out of Myrtle Beach (she’s presumably talking about Route 17).

“No food trucks or fuel trucks could come in and out of Myrtle Beach,” added Leitner. “Keep in mind that 60 percent of the county evacuated, which means that none of the residents will be able to return to their homes.”

Haake is in New Bern, N.C., one of the hardest-hit towns so far, “overwhelmed with more than 10 feet of water.”

Sanders is at Carolina Beach, N.C., where waves are giving the sand dunes a run for their money, and where most of the pier has been taken out due to the storm surge.

Fryer is in Jacksonville Beach, N.C., which has been hit with roughly 3 feet of water; and those floodwaters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

CBS This Morning: Saturday was hosted by the usual trio of Anthony Mason, Dana Jacobson and Michelle Miller.

CBS News’ Adriana Diaz followed a group of rescusers through 4 feet of water in Jacksonville, N.C. She added that there have been 30 rescues in Jacksonville along since 3 a.m.

Ginger Zee, Amy Robach, Eva Pilgrim, and Tom Llamas were among the ABC Newsers still reporting from the ground; each reported for GMA Weekend.

The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes is reporting this morning from Myrtle Beach. The network is not letting a viral video get in the way of its reporters doing their jobs:

TWC’s Jim Cantore and Steve Peteryak observing a cleanup crew in Wrightsville Beach:

Stephanie Abrams up at all hours: