At Least 5 Dead from Hurricane Florence

The Neuse River floods a street in New Bern N.C. on Friday

The Neuse River floods a street in New Bern N.C. on Friday

Authorities have confirmed those storm-related deaths, including a mother and her infant child who died after a tree fell on their home in New Hanover County, where the storm hit Friday morning with a 105 miles per hour wind gust, the strongest wind in the city since 1958.

A mother and her young child were killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Most of those in North and SC live in Raleigh, Charlotte and Charleston.

The flooding soon spread into SC, swamping places like North Myrtle Beach, in a resort area known for its white sands and multitude of golf courses.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest", said Perry, who was trapped early Friday with three relatives.

Flood conditions will worsen through the relentless rainfall over the next couple days, officials warned. As of 5pm this evening, Florence has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm with sustained winds at 70 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Florence is practically stalled over the Carolinas and the monster storm could dump drenching rains of up to 3½ feet (1 meter).

"It went from zero to 100 real quick", he said.

Rain forecasts show an additional 10 to 20 inches possible on top of the 10 to 20 inches that have already fallen.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

In Kinston, more than an hour's drive inland from the coast, Lenoir County spokesman Bryan Hanks said a man was electrocuted as he attempted to connect extension cords outside in the rain. The storm knocked out power to almost 930,000 homes and businesses, and the number could keep rising.

And, while Florence continues to weaken, the worst of the storm hasn't passed yet.

About 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and millions of others live in areas likely to be affected by the storm.

Ashley Warren and boyfriend Chris Smith managed to paddle away from their home in a boat with their two dogs and were left her shaken. "Only communication we have with them is just me flashing my lights to them and I think they have a flashlight they're flickering back to us".

"I'm a nurse, and I will be at work taking care of the patients like we're supposed to", she said.

The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater.

New Bern resident Latasha Jones is one of the more fortunate ones. The tropical storm has begun ravaging the coastline after being downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane.

Florence "is twice the size of Hurricane Hugo", which tore through the Carolinas in 1989, New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw told "GMA".

Emergency crews are asking people to stay inside and not go out in the storm.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next. "I made sure ahead of time that we had adequate space for anybody that wanted to try that". Storm totals could reach between 30 and 40 inches in some areas.

Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper calls Florence the "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities.

"I know North Carolinians".

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.