Carolinas Hunker Down As Florence Approaches

Carolinas Hunker Down As Florence Approaches

The storm's first casualties included a mother and her baby, who died when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina. The father was transported to a hospital for treatment.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

The fifth, a 78-year-old man, was found dead on a street outside of Kinston.

On Sept. 14, NHC posted the following warnings and watches: A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

Governor Cooper said the state would arrange a visit by Trump "at an appropriate time".

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120-mph winds on Thursday, but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

The USA's National Hurricane Center has said the huge Hurricane Florence is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Florence's maximum sustained winds had eased to 110mph (175kmh) and it had been downgraded to a Category 2 storm from Category 3 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane with 120 miles per hour winds on Thursday but dropped to Category 1 before coming ashore.

WILMINGTON (North Carolina) • Hurricane Florence, weakened but still risky, crashed into the Carolinas yesterday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with flood waters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge.

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More than 60 people had to be pulled from a collapsing motel and hundreds more were rescued elsewhere from rising water.

"For a meandering storm, the biggest concern - as we saw with Harvey - is the huge amount rainfall", said Chris Landsea, chief of tropical analysis and forecast branch at the National Hurricane Center. "These are folks who are maybe in one-story buildings and they're seeing the floodwaters rise".

More than 415,000 homes and businesses were without power on Friday morning, according to poweroutage.us which tracks the nation's electrical grid.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.

"We're just trying to plan for the future here, not having a house for an extended period of time", David Garrigus said. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

Overall, unsafe storm surge is possible all the way from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Rescue workers in North Carolina meanwhile were scrambling to save people stranded in their homes. Numerous evacuees had pets with them. Several places already had more than 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain, and Oriental, North Carolina got more than 20 inches in just a few hours.

"Protection of life is the absolute highest priority", he added.

Forecasts call for the eye to hit land sometime Friday near the Carolinas border. Utility companies said millions were expected to lose power and restoration could take weeks. Forecasters said Florence is expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, even as President Donald Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid. Significant weakening was expected over the weekend.

And if Florence weren't enough, other storms out there are threatening people.

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