Florence Kills 5, Including Infant, in North Carolina
Category 1 hurricane downgraded to tropical storm.
At least five people, including a mother and her infant, have died in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence slowly moves from the Tar Heel State into South Carolina, officials said on Friday.
After coming ashore in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday afternoon and trudged into South Carolina as night came.
Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city’s Police department said. “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 on Friday afternoon.
“The father was transported to (New Hanover Regional Medical Centre) 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 on 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 fourth person who died was a man in Lenoir County who was hooking up a generator, Governor Roy Cooper’s office said. Another man in the county who was checking on his dogs outside was killed in what his family thought was a wind-related death on Friday morning, emergency officials said. Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers – and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.
In the besieged city of New Bern, rescuers had plucked more than 200 people from rising waters by midmorning on Friday, but about 150 more had to wait as conditions worsened and a storm surge reached 10 feet, officials said. That number was down to 40 later in the day.
Prolonged, dangerous winds: Tropical storm-force winds extend 175 miles from Florence’s centre.
Flooding for miles: Up to 40 inches of rain, and storm surges pushing water inland and not allowing rivers to drain, “will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding,” the National Hurricane Centre says.
“You’re going to have flooding miles and miles inland,” the center’s director, Ken Graham, said.
Record gusts: Wilmington’s airport recorded a 105-mph wind gust – the fastest measured since Hurricane Helene hit the city in 1958, the National Hurricane Center said.
Nuclear plant shutdown: A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, North Carolina, shut down operations because of the storm, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Twitter.
Swift-water rescue teams from out of state helped local rescuers evacuate people whenever conditions allowed. One team from Maryland helped with about 40 rescues in New Bern starting on Thursday, member Mitchell Rusland said. Craven County, where New Bern is located, had logged more than 100 service calls from residents trapped on their roofs or in their cars, county spokeswoman Amber Parker said.
Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic. According to the National Hurricane Centre, the storm will travel through the South Carolina upstate, be downgraded to a tropical depression then turn north toward Ohio.
Flooding at Extreme Action Park on Whichards Beach Rd in Chocowinity, North Carolina.
Weather map tracking Hurricane Florence.
The Neuse River rises above its banks, pushing towards New Burn.
Volunteers help rescue children from a flooded home in James City, North Carolina.