Firefighters pray at scene where mom, baby killed during Florence

Cristina Cross
September 15, 2018

More than 360 people were rescued as of midafternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told the Associated Press.

In Wilmington, near where the eye of the storm touched down, trees and power lines were felled and many windows were broken.

"The fact that there haven't been more deaths and damage is wonderful and a blessing", said Rebekah Roth, walking around Wilmington's Winoca Terrace neighborhood on Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Florence to a tropical storm on Friday and expected to further downgrade it to a tropical depression by Saturday night.

Florence is 350 miles (560 km) wide and has travelled 4,000 miles across the ocean from west Africa. At least four people have died, and authorities fear the toll will go higher as the tropical storm crawls westward Saturday across SC.

"Hurricanes normally come in and they go inland, which sucks the power out of them as they go over the land", he said.

There were no immediate reports of storm-related deaths or serious injuries.

There have been "several hundred" rescue operations, Governor Cooper said.

"Please be safe and be smart and use your common sense", Cooper added.

Five people, including a mother and her baby, have been killed by Florence, which was initially categorised as a hurricane with 120mph winds.

A video of a live segment of him in Wilmington, North Carolina, shows him bracing his feet on where he's standing, presumably so he won't be blown over during his segment.

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The storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach at 7:15 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

For people living inland in the Carolinas, the moment of maximum peril from flash flooding could arrive days later, because it takes time for rainwater to drain into rivers and for those streams to crest.

The Wilmington Police Department said that the mother and her infant were killed on September 14, when the tree fell on their house; the infant's father was rushed to the hospital with injuries.

A woman in Hampstead, in Pender County, died of an apparent heart attack after emergency crews could not clear debris to get to her.

Meteorologist Donnie Cox ended up leaving the TV station located in North Carolina, after the hurricane posed a danger of rising level in the floodwater, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000. Carteret County officials said Saturday that two people had died there, but the cause of those deaths couldn't be determined.

In New Bern, North Carolina, the National Weather Service said there was 10ft of water.

Some local residents described a harrowing retreat as the storm hit early on Friday.

"And from that point, we started hearing where people were saying on phone calls, 'I love you, ' to their family members because they were not sure they were going to get out of it alive", she said Friday.

Authorities in North Carolina said almost 814,000 customers were without power. The storm has weakened to a Category 1, with wind speeds of 90 miles per hour.

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door to door to pull more than 60 people out as the Triangle Motor Inn began to crumble. Trump issued the order on Friday.

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