At least four people, including a mother and her infant, have died in North Carolina as Hurricane Florence slowly moves through the Carolinas, officials said Friday. Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s police department said.
Hurricane Florence is causing the greatest damage with the combination punch of a punishing amount of rainfall combined with the slow-moving path she has locked into. Her wind levels have actually slowed to about 80 MPH, but the rain she is dropping threatens to reach historical levels.
FROM WQOW: “WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington. A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house,” police tweeted Friday afternoon. “The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Center) with injuries.” The hospital said it has received three injured patients.
In the town of Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest Friday morning found their path blocked by downed trees. When they got to the home, the woman was deceased, Chad McEwen, assistant county manager for Pender County, said.
The inner #eyewall has waxed & waned today, but the outer eyewall appears to be slowly consolidating around the center.
— Philippe Papin (@pppapin) September 14, 2018
The fourth person who died was a man in Lenoir County who was plugging a cord into a generator, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said. Florence is inching along after making landfall hours earlier in North Carolina, trapping people in flooded homes and promising days of destruction and human suffering.
Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers — and the Category 1 hurricane is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.
“The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days,” Cooper warned residents at a news conference. In the besieged city of New Bern, North Carolina, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by mid morning, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said.
By Friday morning, Florence already had:
- Sapped power to more than 620,000 customers in North and South Carolina, emergency officials said.
- Forced 26,000 people into more than 200 emergency shelters across the Carolinas.
- Pushed more than 60 people to evacuate from a hotel in Jacksonville, North Carolina, after part of the roof collapsed, city officials said.
- Prompted 4,000 National Guard soldiers and 40,000 electric workers to mobilize in response.
- Canceled more than 1,100 flights along the East Coast on Friday and Saturday. READ MORE
From the National Hurricane Center
- Life-threatening storm surge will continue along portions of
the North Carolina coast through tonight, and also along the Neuse
and Pamlico Rivers in western Pamlico Sound, where rainfall and
freshwater flooding will also contribute to high water levels.
Dangerous storm surge could also affect portions of the northeast
coast of South Carolina coast tonight.
- Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged
significant river flooding are likely over portions of the
Carolinas and the southern to central Appalachians from western
North Carolina into southwest Virginia through early next week, as
Florence moves slowly inland. In addition to the flash flood and
flooding threat, mudslides are also possible in the higher terrain
of the southern and central Appalachians across western North
Carolina into southwest Virginia.
- Tropical storm conditions will continue along the coast within
the tropical storm warning area and also well inland across portions
of South Carolina and North Carolina.
- Large swells affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast,
and the northwestern and central Bahamas will continue this week,
resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents. READ MORE