Mother and Infant Among First Reported Fatalities as Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall
15 September, 2018, 16:00 | Author: Valerie Santiago
In the first report of storm-related fatalities, a mother and infant died after a tree fell on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to local police. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain while another man died when he was knocked down by high winds while checking on his dogs.
Most of those cancellations are tied to the approaching hurricane, now a Category 2 storm with winds expected onshore late Thursday at more than 80 miles per hour. "This is just the beginning".
By 5 a.m., about 200 people had been rescued from flooded homes in New Bern, where the National Weather Servicereported 10 feet of inundation. "We are stuck in the attic".
"What happens is that we rescue some people and then we find out there are still more who need it", Outlaw said.
"Flash flooding will be extreme and flood waters will come up quickly and seemingly out of nowhere", the governor said.
Early Saturday morning Florence's winds weakened to 65 mph (100 kph) as it moved forward at 5 mph (7 kph) and was about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
It all seems pretty bad, I mean, actually, real bad.
Even though Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, it already has proven deadly with its almost nonstop rain, surging seawater and howling winds.
Both deaths were reported to the State Medical Examiner's Office by the Lenoir County Sheriff's Office.
Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington. It was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore near Wrightsville Beach close to Wilmington, North Carolina.
As rescuers battled strong winds and debris-filled floodwaters to pluck hundreds of stranded people from their homes, officials confirmed at least three deaths from the monster storm, while United States media reported a fourth. He urged residents to stay inside and not get in the way of emergency workers.
North Carolina emergency management officials said more than 600,000 customers in North Carolina were without power. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".
Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said.
"For overall damage, it would be hard, at the end of the day, to find a rival for this storm".
Emergency crews were stretched thin.
"Some of the rainfall totals we're getting are already adding up to about 14 inches", NHC Director Ken Graham said shortly after 11 a.m. ET.
Originally rated as a category 4 storm, East Coasters began preparing for high winds and rain earlier this week.
"Downtown Wilmington was getting a beating", said Angela Brown, 62, of Wilmington. Another 400 people were in shelters in Virginia, where forecasts were less dire.
New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School. Additional swiftwater rescue teams were on the way. "People who live in New Bern have experienced hurricanes before, but it has been a long time since we have experienced something like this".
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Evacuating institutionalized people ahead of a storm is always a challenge, but failing to do so can prove deadly. One trusted computer model, the European simulation, predicted more than 115 cm in parts of North Carolina.
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Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said the level-one yellow alert could be upgraded depending on the extremity of the storm. The ocean is moving inland ahead of Florence as storm surge begins to flood the Carolinas coast, according to the NHC.
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