Monday, 19 November, 2018

Firefighters pray at scene where mom, baby killed during Florence

Watch Hurricane Florence Make Landfall in This Incredible Space Station Video ‘We Are Coming To Get You’ | 150 Residents Stranded In New Bern, North Carolina
Charles Bowen | 15 September, 2018, 21:57

And weather officials said more is coming, labeling as "extreme" the impacts from storm surge and flash flooding.

"This storm is relentless and excruciating", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told CNN late on Friday.

Other areas throughout the region reported flooded and impassable roads, downed trees and power lines and power outages of more than 125,000 customers.

A mother and infant were killed in Wilmington, North Carolina, when a tree fell on their home.

Pender County Emergency Management Director Tom Collins confirmed to WWAY that a woman was killed in Hempstead, Pender County after suffering a heart attack in her home.

Two people died in Lenoir County.

USA media later said a man in Lenoir County died after heavy winds knocked him down as he tried to check on his dogs.

One of the towns worst affected is New Bern, which sits between the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina.

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

"We moved all the furniture up in case the water comes in but the water seems to be staying at the edge of the driveway", he said, adding that if the wind picks up and the rain keeps coming, that could change. "My wife's in a panic right now".

Eudy and his family stayed home in New Bern partly to protect their house. "This is a 500- or 1,000-year event".

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Florence was a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds on Thursday.

By Friday evening, the center of the storm had moved to eastern SC, about 15 miles northeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, after barreling into North Carolina with damaging winds and heavy rain, leaving at least five people dead.

She estimated 441,000 people have already evacuated because of the storm. More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena. "There's a little bit of apprehension as you can imagine", said Major Mark Craddock with the Salvation Army of Cape Fear, who was hunkered down with about 30 others at the organization's shelter in downtown Wilmington, about three blocks from the Cape Fear River.

Florence has already knocked out power to close to a million households in the Carolinas, with some areas not expecting to regain electricity for days. Meat companies including Tyson Foods Inc., Smithfield Foods Inc., Pilgrim's Pride Corp. and Wayne Farms LLC shut down operations from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

Most of the rivers in northeast SC and eastern North Carolina are experiencing moderate to major flooding and, in some cases, many continue rising well into next week as floodwaters from the interior flow downstream.

The White House said Friday U.S. President Donald Trump will travel to areas hit by Hurricane Florence next week, once it has been determined that his travel would not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts. Trump plans a visit to the region next week.

At 11 a.m., the center of Florence was about 20 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Wilmington, its winds down to 80 mph (130 kmh), according to the hurricane center.

By Saturday morning a normally tranquil stream known as Crab Tree Swamp was flowing fast and was just a foot from engulfing a bridge which provides north-south access to Conway.

The Navy says nearly 30 Virginia-based ships and 128 aircraft sent away from their bases in the Hampton Roads-area because of now-Tropical Storm Florence have been given the go-ahead to return.

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