Florence Kills 5, In­clud­ing In­fant, in North Carolina

Cat­e­gory 1 hur­ri­cane down­graded to trop­i­cal storm.

Fiji Sun - - World News - Source: CNN Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

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