Hurricane Florence: Woman, baby die after tree falls on house

Jan Cross
September 15, 2018

On Friday morning, Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, bringing extreme winds, surging seas, and huge amounts of rain to the coast. Already, video has come out from along the Carolina coastline showing that the ocean has effectively moved onto the land, swamping homes in the affected area. The 400-mile-wide hurricane has unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than 600,000 homes and businesses.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said people could still leave flood-prone areas.

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is predicting that Florence will become a tropical storm tomorrow (Sept. 15) over SC, continue northwest to eastern Kentucky, then swing northeast and track over most of New England early next week.

Florence was seen as a major test for FEMA, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate months that followed.

The police chief of a barrier island in Florence's bulls'-eye said he was asking for next-of-kin contact information from the few residents who refused to leave.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths.

THE life-threatening hurricane, Florence, is expected to hover the Carolinas in the United States with torrential rains, high winds and massive coastal erosion. Its center was moving west at only 6 mph (9 km/h) and about 50 miles south of Morehead City at around 1 a.m. (0500 GMT Friday).

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Hurricane Florence continues to drop category, but not risky, while hundreds of thousands of people try to get away from the coasts of the two Carolinas and Virginia.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a watery siege that could go on all weekend.

Authorities say at least 20,000 people have evacuated their homes and are sought refuge in shelters throughout North Carolina.

Another woman died in Pender County, North Carolina, after suffering a medical condition.

Long said people in storm-damaged areas need to "get their mindset right". "I've got four cats inside the house".

Many residents along the coast were issued mandatory evacuations, with forecasters warning of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding".

Anheuser-Busch is sending six truckloads (more than 300,000 cans) of emergency canned drinking water to local communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia in preparation for the expected impact of Hurricane Florence.

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