4 dead as Hurricane Florence unleashes fury in Carolinas

4 dead as Hurricane Florence unleashes fury in Carolinas

Tropical Storm Florence - continuing to weaken - moved slowly at 3 miles per hour west through the Midlands on Saturday, showering Lexington and Richland counties with 2-4 inches of rain and wind gusts at around 50 miles per hour, the National Weather Service of Columbia reported.

The mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell on their house, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told media Friday night.

A person inside the house in the 700 block of Violet Street reported leg pain as a result of the incident and was taken to a hospital, according to Lexington County spokesman Harrison Cahill. In Craven County, authorities say they received more than 150 telephone calls to rescue people in the historic town of New Bern because water had entered their homes.

The third death happened in Hampstead, Pender County when a woman had a medical emergency and EMS crews could not get to her due to the storm, according to Tom Collins, Director of Emergency Management.

Storm surges, punishing winds and rain are turning some towns into rushing rivers - and the storm is expected to crawl over parts of the Carolinas into the weekend, pounding some of the same areas over and over.

"A big worry about Hurricane Florence is that it's not acting like a normal hurricane", said Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Wilmington, North Carolina.

"I feel like the dumbest human being who ever walked the face of the earth", Ballance said.

A damaged house is seen after Hurricane Florence struck in Winnabow, North Carolina, U.S., September 15, 2018.

Across the Trent River from New Bern, Jerry and Jan Andrews returned home after evacuating to find carp flopping in their backyard near the porch stairs.

With tropical storm-force winds swirling 350 miles wide, Florence continued deluging North and SC on Saturday morning after pushing surging seas far ashore. Officials said more than 100 people were rescued from floods on Friday, with 60 to 75 awaiting rescue on Saturday.




The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving west at 2 mph (3.2 kph), with its center located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Tornadoes remain a threat, with the NHC saying that "a few tornadoes are possible in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern SC".

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.

SC recorded its first death from the storm when officials said a 61-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle hit a tree that had fallen across a highway. In perspective, Florence could drop up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

New Bern resident Latasha Jones is one of the more fortunate ones.

Hundreds of residents were rescued on Friday, and the city was placed under a 24-hour curfew until further notice. Many of them are boat owners, who help rescue stricken flood victims.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats.

"New Bern is just not used to this level of a hurricane", Outlaw said.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".

The body of a 77-year-old man, also in Kinston, was found by his family at his home, and it is believed he died when he was blown down after going outside to check on his hunting dogs, Dail said.

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