1. SOUNDBITE (English) Steve Goldstein, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration:
"Good morning Florence, now a tropical storm is moving very slowly, nearly stationary, over eastern North Carolina this morning. It will produce catastrophic flooding over parts of North and South Carolina for some time. At 8 o'clock Eastern Time, Florence was centered 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and contain maximum sustained winds of 50 miles an hour. Areas near Newport, North Carolina have received nearly two feet of rain from Florence and powerful rain bands may produce another 15 to 20 inches or more. And these rain bands may slide south into the Wilmington area during the day today. As Florence drifts into north central and north western North Carolina and South Carolina it will take very heavy rain bands with it and heavy rain may impact the Charlotte, North Carolina area late tonight into tomorrow. A 3 to 5 foot storm surge is still expected for portions of the Neuse and Pamlico basins. A tornado watch remains in effect for south eastern North Carolina and waterspouts are possible over the open waters. Many rivers will experience catastrophic flooding from Florence including portions of the Neuse, Northeast Cape Fear basin the Pee Dee River, the little Pee Dee River basin, the Lumber River and the Waccama River."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeff Byard, Federal Emergency Management Agency:
"At this time we see no shortfalls. We continue to work closely not only with the partners that you see on the stage but our state and local partners, our private sector partners, our nongovernmental partners and now really a whole community approach."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeff Byard, Federal Emergency Management Agency:
"Look we have--you know the way a hurricane is classified is based on the wind. You know wind this can hurt you. Nobody is saying that but it is the water, it's the surge, it's the rain it effects and can kill you more than the wind can in a hurricane. And this is a massive storm. This has put a lot of rain, a lot of water on our coast, inland. So I would continue to ask this team, this team that's out there keep echoing the message that there is a lot of rain to come. There's a lot of rain that's fallen and you know we hope that if message can reach one person that helps them save the lives of themselves or their family we feel that that'd success."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Jeff Byard, Federal Emergency Management Agency:
"We're not seeing gaps you know as far as the preparedness for Hurricane Florence. You know we are actively engaged starting you know really Wednesday, Thursday of last week starting to prepare that. You know we've had very good participation from our federal agencies we've seen a very large Department of Defense to include the National Guard lay out. We embedded teams early. We embedded and began our logistics process early. So we feel like we're we're very prepared. We feel like we're very coordinated with both the state and the locals."
Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to dump dangerous amounts of rain as it continues its slow slog across the Carolinas.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving west at 2 mph (3.2 kph), with its center located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Maximum sustained winds remained at 50 mph (80 kph).
The region is being pounded with rain from the slow-moving storm, causing the risk of catastrophic flooding. Southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast
Parts of North and South Carolina can expect an additional 10 to 15 inches. Storm totals could reach between 30 and 40 inches in some areas.
At 8 a.m. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said rainfall will continue to produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.
Jeff Byard, Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned Saturday morning warned that the rain and water from Florence will be far more dangerous than the winds.
He also said at a news conference in Washington that the agency was well prepared for the storm.