Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Hurricane Florence turns deadly as it pounds Carolinas

Hurricane Florence turns deadly as it pounds Carolinas

The mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell on their house, the governor said, and one person died in Lenoir County while plugging in a generator.

This landfall has been a long time coming: The hurricane arrived more than two weeks after the National Hurricane Center issued its first advisory for the storm.

Florence plowed into the Carolinas and lumbered slowly inland on Friday, knocking down trees, gorging rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leaving five people dead before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc.

Wilmington police tweeted that the father was transported to the hospital with unspecified injuries. As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, already had received 30 inches (76 cm) of rain, the U.S. Geological Service said.

The third death happened in Hampstead, Pender County when a woman had a medical emergency and EMS crews could not get to her due to the storm, according to Tom Collins, Director of Emergency Management.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville, North Carolina. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days".

Before dawn on Friday, authorities had been forced to rescue more than 60 people in Wilmington, some who had ignored evacuation orders. "I wonder how it would have been with a Category 4 or 5?" said Mason Tarr, standing on the steps of the building where he sought shelter the night before.

The monster storm felled trees all around Wilmington, causing many more close calls and damaging homes and cars.

Florence weakens to tropical storm, leaves at least five dead
Outlaw said he declared a 24-hour curfew early Friday due to continuing flooding and numerous downed trees and power lines. Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding .

Her husband went to see if he could assist them but the water was chest high, she said.

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril. "We are not going to make it, '" Cherry said.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods. "The water started rising and we evacuated nearly an entire TV station in about 15 minutes".

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos * a href="*F" target="_blank" rel="noopener" *of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one metre) in some places. "Florence may be weakening but will have a large storm surge".

The storm's movement, not its strength, has forecasters and officials anxious.

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