Hurricane Florence reclassified to a tropical storm

The Red Cross issues advice for people riding out the storm; North Carolina resident rides out the storm on her boat; Hurricane Florence downgrades to a Tropical Storm
20:39 | 09/14/18

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Transcript for Hurricane Florence reclassified to a tropical storm
Everyone welcome to ABC news live we are keeping you updated here on hurricane Florence now a category one. And now responsible for four deaths in North Carolina we know one of those deaths assortment plugging in a generator. An attitude of those deaths were a result of a tree. Falling on a home just a little while ago we heard from the governor. Of North Carolina offering condolences. To the families of those lost but also warning to those out there that this hurricane. While it may be at a category one now it will continue this violent grind. Across the state. To torrential rains continue and that's really. The big concern right now is those rains that reforms currently moving to the border of North Carolina and that's South Carolina State line and so people really need to remain vigilant. We want to bring in Brooke Cottrell who's actually riding out the storm. On her boat in morehead city North Carolina. Abruptly were just looking at the storm on the radar I mean this thing is massive. What does it look like to you from your boat. Yeah vastly different perspective I oh. Aren't there aren't I how badly they'll come out that got built their reign at the site and it. Batman star on the dock where art. Wheatley art are Eric. Eric kind heart how how about or is it. And how has it. Ben I mean have you received the worst of it yet or are you still bracing for more to come. I'm pretty sure we're doing our act got up at. I'm not me Howell and I'm aware of it at and they. And me how. It right out so it kinda. Digging through it as. Have you seen authorities coming through tried offer any help or any advice. I I know I haven't even though your heart. And hit. And that idiot on a very public here. I'm and some act robotic. Why don't I. Get back to crack at this number. It looks leg. There aren't many other people out here with you broke. You guys the only ones who decided to ride this out there. There are other trip than he's able to act out. That act on our about it though. On an indictment column we didn't want to leave the bell and have the habit but Randi hit rock and someone else com. We are really track protect. The people around up front about that we slightly actually read out on. We've also seen some really devastating images you know for people on land. Towns just turned into what look like rivers you know with that rising water are you able to see from where you are the rising water level. He iron out at where we are at me underwater. The red behind it are completely under water Al as well. And Brooke how concerned are you about the people back on the coast. I am I. Am EDI in. We need I've seen every hour for thirty years I. RE ICI act like I'm they don't I cannot. Hard back it went down eight Q I'm. And hand out on chill wine agent it happened but I got that they are thought they where I think it just took a lot of people. Op art on the crane that there aren't out well. And we have been hearing reports of just rescue after rescue not only people that also animal some people decided to ride it out with their pets and their pets also need rescuing so. You know where were really trying to root for all of rescuers out there hoping they get to everyone in time. It's C you know it's it's a tough scenario especially broke with the sun going down now are you worried about that. Out. It did to Iraq does get dark as you can't be. Yet there is debris client Smart or what could be. Coming gap I was here he went. Started out. Are there wind was so pop pop that it spread it degree of art doc. So you were not that I might go with. And what kind of precautions you taking for tonight what's your game plan. We ought to act. I'm scared we haven't. Really care. I'm prepared our leader and it's not sure that every. And it acting. As part coming towards us on the boat to China and everything. Are way up and who you on the boat with Burke. Apparently my contract on the I think the doc I'm sure that we are staged. Well we hope you guys have a safe tonight best of luck to you and thank you so much for checking in on it on us we we're glad that you're doing okay. That was the child a writing up a storm and about in morehead city. North Carolina something they're doing okay but from the scene there from what she's saying this riding rising water levels. Are putting a lot of people in danger and with that I want to bring in Jonathan Mack Americans with the Red Cross the director of communications there. Jonathan I know you are one of the first groups to have people on the ground in these areas. Talked just a little bit about what you're seeing right now. Yes there are you can imagine double parking lot of the same pictures. You are managed and sold in your last interview that and the one thing I want it. This is an extremely dangerous water situation event. Your viewers may not know that it only to exit at six inches of water to search be able to move the person if it's very fast twelve inches. The search be able to move it vehicle so it never seek to wait or walk through those but those waters that are rider quickly or how. Odds are you have. Residents who work we're trying to make it out and get to receive place. I'm tried to high ground as as quickly as possible this is where they have power axis of social media. You're checking with their local officials to find out courtesy periods are. On the Google developer Rick crops emergency. That's good apple forced the evacuation shelters available on all the area's current tactic but this is about the response Europe's. I'll never 2000 Rikaart alters we're currently engaged in this effort supply its social for a 100000 people who were prepared her outlook the year erupts. A couple of days weeks and months ahead. It definitely seems that way I just reiterate what you just said. Just six inches of water and not a person down at their and we are the waters. Yeah it's moving. Exit you're deter persons opens its four car and that's where would receive a dramatic pictures has went. Are your people turned to wade through water that it can do is not that he'd portrait he try to drive their vehicle through it and they're quickly overwhelmed. With a water rises quickly so that's why remember the street turn around don't drown. You're EG if you have questions about. The CP at the water around you that you should be and it is never safe to beat Parikh on their B snakes and other adults who were in. Displaced from their their homes and second unit dazzled collapsing chemicals. I'll still securing a home that is experiencing flooding get to the highest we possible on the that's when contacting our rescue workers. That they can get in Q hopefully as quickly as possible we get your book but don't risk it or. John is it too late to have accurate at this point. Art and that act that took of course and after every year there would going to be the unique situation for them so aren't you know your surroundings party better than anybody. And that's where checking with your local officials that can know what roads are closed what access points are available. Opt out looking at emergency it's gonna be the locations of their shelters that are in your community prominent making that decision based on the best interest in the seat you gaelic but. Public you come across areas that are what it like it earlier. Don't try to we'd through and don't try to drive through a Mecca Pritchard every acre situation report. We're looking at some video right now of some animal rescues going on and I'm on the edge of my seat watching these two guys trying to rescue these cats. What happens to animals in a situation like this. Yeah up to we worked very closely with our partners. In localities it all the area. That are impacted to make sure that. If people have a secret to bring their pets with them now proceed being upbeat at the specific shelter luckiest that you're going to you the ducks forward work with partners. Like animal shelters in the SE PA's. In various communities to make sure that the animals and pets. Which we know or family members you know I would be carefully by my dog at all I had to evacuate not what are the reasons we hear from people. But that they don't seek shelter so that white. Armed force sport kit we how close partner premature place. Armin if you have any questions check with your localities. Web site to see with a specific plans or opt for your animals. That's why it happened at a virtue prepared as cute you have won your house is so essential. That you can bring those items that there is lesions are or shoot your pet. Obstinate you are actual factory you have those but check with your carry to a state sell or merge gap in all tradition of. Rated nice now we often hear from a lot of people who decide to stick around because they don't think they have a place. To take their pets and Jonathan one of the big concerns now of course the sun is starting said it's gonna get dark out there most these people don't have power and the water. It's still rising so what's your nice for them. Yes so once again before it does get dark if you utilities you have escape route that look back to shoppers. On doubt the type that particular stepped. But however if you don't do you have that the approach that's getting to the hype when your home possible. Departures yourself some cute but speak and you with a rising waters. I'm reaching out to local emergency officials if you feel like you Warren a life threatening situation. So that they can take steps that quickly get your as quickly as possible but. Like I said don't risk it if you if you find yourself Ronald kind of shelter in place. You know that's where we received stories and heard from kind of communities that federal sort of cut off that are that are rallying around each other. I'll let you stay in contact with social media it was since your local news. On your local officials who have additional permission to warnings over the ours become they're good or your community best. On average are they're warning. All right Jonathan Mack America from the Red Cross Jonathan thanks so much we appreciate it when you're busy. Micro think you. Now we want to head over to GO beneath says who's heading to the hardest hit area New Bern, North Carolina. GO apocryphal we are seeing now. Right now these guys are trying to clear the road right now they are actually the rescuers they are bringing a boat. Through this road they're trying to get to new bird. Hoping to rescue people who might be trapped. Hear from Bob Williamson. I'll root. How are you guys. Afford. It. Even travel along last. Night about or more it. I hit back at commodity these boys and home back. As a when you get here you're trying to get to maneuver right to rescue people and you get here if one does giant tree in the middle room if there. And what's going through your mind via. This some help now. I mean you got within no time right away he pulled down South America and why is that so important for you to help these people output it would. I mean a mining village. As devastating as he storms there's intend to get opportunities like that to see people at their best just people helping other people just because it's the right thing to do. Our on Q Benitez appreciate that story NGOs and on his way to New Bern, North Carolina so far from overhearing the hardest hit area. By this storm but I also want to go over to Mary Alice park's Mary ounces. A FEMA headquarters now and merry ouster is talking to the Red Cross a little while ago lots at underway there and I'm guessing it's pretty easy. Over at FEMA as well. It is busy we are at the nerve center where all the coordination is taking place between military leaders. And federal agencies and the people in this room remind us that the search and rescue operation and really any response still starts at the local level. But once cities and mayors and governors start asking for help. While the federal agencies in the military want to make sure that that help is there and ready to go out. Neither really in the search and rescue fees of this storm but what is fascinating is we expect that search and rescue phase to last days. They know that there's gonna beat the lightning and storm surges and continued. Water rising and so he could be in this sort of go get them how answered my mom one call 84 days to cop. But an after that. Just are finally water starts to recede. Well that's what a lot of people in this room are getting ready for as well we've been talking to people from americorps the small business association. Hide and every federal agency that you can imagine they're trying to put people and place to be ready to help. To assess the damage to got houses to look for mold. To help people rebuild. When that hand counts. And Mary Alice as you said you know right now the priority is search and rescue trying to find people who may be trapped and so on. How do they go about doing that with the sun setting it started to get dark people are without power and the water is still rising. It in getting hundreds and nine and one policy addicts especially. In New Bern, North Carolina where you're just talking to geo that's continues to be really hard heard area with the water rising storm surges. Beano they tried to put people. In position and military assets in position ready to now the Coast Guard had pre positioned a lot of swift water rescue boats. FEMA has urban search and rescue teams. And so they wait for the mayors and governors and the vocal rescue teams to ask for help and then moving in. But if it treacherous we were talking to a senior FEMA administrator just a little bit ago. He was talking at how. Life threatening to dangerous some of these search and rescue operations can be the visibility snow packed and it's hot and often it is those. First responders that are really the ones in danger putting their lives at risk trying to help those in need. I'm Mary Ellis park their from FEMA headquarters Mary Alice thanks. And now we have Jeff Smith here with best of ABC meteorologists with a look at the forecast for the storm Jeff I know we're down to category one now. But it sounds like the rain is just not letting up in the storm is still moving fairly slowly you know what the outlook at this point. This storm continues to teach us not to just concentrate on that count because look at the devastation that's occurring right now. It's such a slow moving storm that it's gonna continue caused this damage overnight tonight into the day tomorrow and even into the day. On Sunday in some cases look at the rain band that extends from New Bern. Out into the Atlantic Ocean the problem with this storm is it's close enough to the coast still. That it can grab a ton of Atlantic moisture in slam it into the coast. In Newburgh continues to get just catastrophic flooding right now not only do the rainfall but we have this wind coming in from the east and northeast. It drives seawater up Campbell coast sound into the noose river. So you getting storm surge flooding in addition. To flooding coming down the stream. From rainfall if the company to double whammy 75 mile per hour winds right now it's only moving it six miles per hour you see the senator that storm looks like just northwest of oak island there. Just southwest of Wilmington. Barely moving some of the really heavy rain bands now starting to get in the eastern parts of South Carolina. Look at a flash flood watch as we have an effect for basically the entire state of North Carolina except for the northeastern corner there in much of the state of South Carolina as well. We're looking at local. Of additional rainfall around Wilmington in the bad news is the Cape Fear river Wilmington has actually reached an all time high eight point 27 feet. That beats up past record from Matthew there was a point two feet and also hazel hazel was. The storm in the Carolinas than all other storms are measured up against that happened in 1954. It was a quick moving storm that produced a tremendous storm surge up the Cape Fear river in this storm account of his over the category four. This storm at category one has actually be that wow terms of the level along the Cape Fear river. In almost every river in North Carolina in northeastern South Carolina will be at either major or record flood stage. As we head into the next couple days. I wonder if there's any sort of discussion in the meteorological community maybe. Have some new numbers to other parts of the storm is people seem to relate so much of that. Category one right category to category three and you know we've heard from a woman who was writing instrument on her boat that. They have caught off guard by the severity of the storm because they heard was downgraded to category and no matter how many times. We did warned that that doesn't mean the storm's not to be dangerous so. Is there sort of any talk about another way to label these so maybe people pay a little more attention to eight. It going on people have to know that the category only depends on the maximum sustained winds. Right near the center of the storm and and I wall it might be one single point getting wins at that level. In that basically dictates what we call the storm apparently 12345. This storm in terms that we could almost. Maybe assisted a total power level. Yen it's a very large storm. It's producing a lot of energy it's producing a tremendous amount of moisture dragging a tremendous non western from the Atlantic Ocean. So if you don't think that the total amount of energy assisted with the storm and give that number and maybe maybe categorize that. There there are some in the meteorological community talking about maybe something to get a little bit more granular. Just that simple one through five. Because as we've seen member sandy. That hit the northeast was wasn't even a tropical system by the time it is a post tropical storms equivalent of a category one. And it produced such tremendous storm surge questions that's it was a super storm. Pretty such tremendous damage but you know that caught people off guard because it was the equivalent of a category one the damage it caused and look at the storm here category one storm. Making landfall in the Carolinas. In. Undoubtedly billions of dollars of damage will be done from this and here's the track. You can see it barely moves between Al. In 2 o'clock in the morning. Tomorrow morning it doesn't move them much at all moves to maybe central parts of South Carolina by 2 PM tomorrow it's open in northwestern parts of the statement swings back into North Carolina by say ash spill. In the Appalachian Mountains there bite later on tomorrow afternoon into tomorrow night. If we expand that track a little bit you notice how the symbols are really close together at the beginning that means it's moving very slowly. Not a good thing and then they start it'll farther apart at the end there as we head toward state Sunday Monday and Tuesday and that spritz of rain here to the northeast will be much quicker moving storm but it's not as worried about flooding. You know and our area here in the northeast. But I tornado watch also in effect you know what's the right front quadrant of these storms relative to the motion so this is moving off to the west that right front quadrant is over. Parts in north Carolina's there's a tornado watch there some of these bands have some rotation with them. And backing it up dropping tornado down to the ground causing additional. Damage in don't yet even though you know we're talking about the rainfall with this storm. It's a slow moving storm in that can exacerbate the wind damage to because structures. That are used you know that might be able to withstand maybe an hour to. A category one winds are getting you know twelve hours of candor one wins in this case so it's really it's really a remarkable stormont. And it just apparently just became a tropical storm just downgraded to a tropical storm but again. Don't let that fool you. Because it's gonna continue to cause catastrophic flooding again could be over twenty inches of additional rainfall. In southeastern North Carolina near Wilmington in the northeastern parts of South Carolina we've already had upwards of over twenty inches. Landing minivan that was more rain in the end we could it remains totals maybe even more. That is devastating. Right Jeff Smith we so appreciate the warning the forecast and the little dispassionate of TV adding some new categories. To these storms. But especially as the sun goes down now and that water continues to rise we hope everybody up there Stacy.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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