Tree falling in Florence kills mom, baby — WHAT'S HAPPENING

Cristina Cross
September 17, 2018

As wind and gusts from the outer bands of Hurricane Florence swirled in Stanly County Friday, organizers were busy ramping up additional safety precautions.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned it would dump as much as 30 to 40 inches (76-102 cm) of rain on the south-eastern coast of North Carolina and part of north-eastern SC. That advisory came out on August 30, when Florence was developing near the Cabo Verde Islands across the Atlantic.

Florence is projected to migrate at barely more than a walking pace across northern SC, passing close to the city of Florence - truly - on Saturday.

"Our house is on high ground so we're not anxious about the flooding", he said. The National Weather Service said the floods likely will last for weeks. Here are snapshots of people struggling to cope with the slow-grinding storm.

The downtown area, at the confluence of two rivers, is mostly underwater. But despite that, bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared". We know how to manage expectations.

Resident Jay Manning said he and his wife watched with alarm as water filled the street.

The photo shows just how huge Florence looks, with its wind field stretching for hundreds of miles.

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centres were moved out of the storm's path. Its designation then was "potential tropical cyclone six".

More ominously, forecasters said the onslaught on the coast would last for hours and hours because Florence had come nearly to a dead halt at just 3 mph (6 kph) as of midday.

"There's nothing to steer it".

Officials said Friday they expected the same amount of rainfall seen during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. "We just want people to be very careful".

"It will be much easier since it's on the mainland", Scanlon said, "so you hopefully won't see some of the problems that we had with Maria past year".

The coast has been battered, and the mountains appear to be next.

North Carolina is the largest tobacco grower and ranks second among USA states in hog inventory and producing broiler chickens. Floodwaters submerged U.S. Highway 264, cutting off a major route to other flood-prone areas along the river and the adjacent Pamlico Sound.

"You evacuate from water", Cline said. We got thrown into mailboxes.

Appalachian State University in Boone canceled its first home football game scheduled for Saturday.

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Florence is now located at 34 degrees north and 78 degrees west. Flash flooding is a threat in those states as well.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence has finally made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Florence also blew down trees, including one that went through the roof of Kevin DiLoreto's home in Wilmington. A number of motorists died trying to drive through moving water.

Some 11,000 power outages have been reported in North Carolina.

Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday that Florence is "wreaking havoc" and he's concerned "whole communities" could be wiped away.

The eyewall of Florence struck the coast before dawn. Around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, the electricity went out.

Eight-foot waves, a local record, ruffled the surface of the Cape Fear River.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said.

The Wilmington airport had a wind gust clocked at 105 miles per hour (169 kph), the highest since Hurricane Helene in 1958. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines. Traffic lights were out.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through rippling thigh-high floodwaters in residential neighborhoods.

Authorities have confirmed those storm-related deaths, including a mother and her infant child who died after a tree fell on their home in New Hanover County, where the storm hit Friday morning with a 105 miles per hour wind gust, the strongest wind in the city since 1958.

There have been two fatalities in Kinston as a result of Hurricane Florence, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail.

A 78-year-old man was electrocuted at a home on SIlver Smith Circle, south of Kinston. Calls for help kept coming in as the wind picked up and the tide arrived, said city public information officer Colleen Roberts.

In Pender County, officials said that a woman died of a heart attack Friday morning as emergency crews tried to reach her; they were delayed because of downed trees and debris in the road.

"Surviving this storm will be a test of endurance, teamwork, common sense and patience", Cooper said Thursday.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold also captured Florence making landfall from his spot on the orbiting outpost. "Be extremely careful and stay alert".

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