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Fayetteville Mayor: Notify next of kin if you ignore mandatory evacuation order

Fayetteville, North Carolina, Mayor Mitch Colvin just warned residents that if they refused to leave the area, which officials say could soon be inundated with rising river water, they need to notify their next of kin “because loss of life is very, very possible.”

“Please take this seriously,” he said. “The worst is yet to come, get to higher ground now, once flood waters rise, it will be hard to get to you to rescue,”

The Red Cross is asking for volunteers by going through its website. There is transportation provided for anyone who needs it, the mayor said.

The staggering numbers behind Florence’s wrath

This nightmare called Tropical Storm Florence is far from over.

“Many people who think that the storm has missed them have yet to see its threat,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. “This system is unloading epic amounts of rainfall — in some places measured in feet, not inches.”

Here are the startling numbers behind Florence’s wrath — so far:

11 deaths

Officials report 10 in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.

The latest three North Carolina deaths were linked to flash flooding and swift water on roads in Duplin County, the local sheriff’s department said.

“Remember: Most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars,” Gov. Cooper said. “Don’t drive across standing or moving water.”

In South Carolina, a 61-year-old woman died Friday night when her car struck a tree that fell during the storm, state emergency officials said.

796,400-plus

That’s just the number of customers without power in the Carolinas. The number of people who lost electricity is far greater since a single customer can represent an entire home.

About 760,200 of those customers are North Carolina; 36,200 are in South Carolina.

112 mph

That’s how hard the wind gusted in North Carolina’s New River Inlet. Wilmington International Airport and Fort Macon suffered gusts of 105 mph, the National Weather Service said.

20,000 shelter evacuees

More than 20,000 people were staying in 157 emergency shelters in North Carolina on Saturday. “If those shelters fill up, we will establish more shelters,” Cooper said.

How to help victims of Florence

150 miles

Even if you live 150 miles out from the center of Florence, you could still feel tropical-storm-force winds — which are 39 mph or greater.

Track Florence’s path

30.58 inches (and counting)

That’s the new North Carolina record for most rainfall from a single tropical system. It happened in the coastal town of Swansboro.

14,000 service members

The number of service members deployed include 7,500 from the US Coast Guard and 6,500 from the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. Another 2,900 active duty members are standing by.