Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Five dead from Hurricane Florence, including mother and baby, say officials

A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm A Duke Energy worker restores power after a storm. Credit Duke Energy
Freda Brock | 15 September, 2018, 16:00

The father was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries. On Wednesday, officials said some of those shelters were at capacity, but in a statement early Thursday, county officials said they were "able to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the need for shelter space". Unsure of what they might find when they return home, the couple went shopping for a recreational vehicle.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper advised residents and visitors to remain inside, warning that the risk of fatalities will increase once the winds die down. Power outages are widespread including over 740,000 in North Carolina and 163,000 in SC. "The storm is wreaking havoc on our state".

President Donald Trump touted the government's readiness and urged people to get out of the way.

The biggest danger, as forecasters saw it, was not the wind but the water: the storm surge along the coastline and the prospect of 1 to 3½ feet of rain over the next several days that could trigger catastrophic flooding in a slow-motion disaster well inland. "I'm not sure if it's a shift in the wind or low tide - but the water has miraculously disappeared".

"We're deeply concerned for whole communities which could be wiped away".

Baker said the rain will bring damaging flash flooding to all areas of the Wilmington region, not just low-lying areas that are particularly vulnerable.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the city of New Bern tweeted around 2 a.m. It also led many people to mock the reporter for his demeanor reporting on the storm.

Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 3 metres, he said.

About 20,000 people hunkered down in 157 schools, shelters and a coliseum in Winston-Salem.

Florence is forecast to dump up to 40 inches of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina Thursday night or Friday.

Hurricane Florence Zeroes In On Carolinas, Bringing 130 MPH Winds
In Pender County, North Carolina, a woman suffered a fatal heart attack; paramedics trying to reach her were blocked by debris. Florence is a powerful category 4 hurricane and is expected to gain even more strength later in the day.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest Florence update at 10am BST that a storm surge warning remained in effect for Myrtle Beach in SC to the Ocracoke Inlet in North Carolina, and for Pamlico Sound.

"Great job FEMA, First Responders and Law Enforcement - not easy, very unsafe, tremendous talent".

Rescue team member Sgt. Nick Muhar, from the North Carolina National Guard 1/120th battalion, evacuates a young child as the rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence threatens his home in New Bern, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

Travel is extremely hazardous because of storm surge, Trogdon said, and will only get worse.

In New Bern, the risky conditions prompted officials in the coastal city to place the city under 24-hour curfew at 7 a.m. Friday.

"The strong wind gusts may down trees and power lines".

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 35 miles (55 kms) from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 170 miles (280 kms) out.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

In Wilmington, Mason Tarr said he spent the night at a friend's house but didn't sleep well. But Florence, a Category 1 when it hit, already had pounded coastal areas for hours. "I wonder how it would have been with a Category 4 or 5". We have steps on the sides of the house so it's a few feet off the ground anyway. Others could only wait and hope someone would come for them.

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