Mother and baby among dead as Hurricane Florence lashes U.S. coast

Hurricane Florence Is Dumping a Huge Amount of Rain on the Carolinas

Florence made landfall this morning along the South Carolina North Carolina border. Credit NOAA

The storm's first casualties, which included a mother and her baby killed when a tree fell on their brick house in Wilmington, North Carolina, were announced about eight hours after Florence came ashore.

There have been two fatalities in Kinston as a result of Hurricane Florence, according to Lenoir County Emergency Services Director Roger Dail. Though Florence did not arrive with winds as violent as once feared, forecasters got the storm surge and rainfall correct.

Five people, including an infant, were killed as Florence battered the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Tropical Storm Florence is continuing to drop torrential rain across the state as the system moves into SC. The father was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries.

"Pretty soon I had a hundred of my closest friends out here helping us out", Britt said.

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days.

"It looks heavy outside", she said.

"It doesn't matter where you are", he said. More than 22,600 people were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.

"The worst of the storm is not yet here, but these are the early warnings of the days to come", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told reporters just before the hurricane made landfall.

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As rescuers battled strong winds and debris-filled floodwaters to pluck hundreds of stranded people from their homes, officials confirmed at least three deaths from the monster storm, while USA media reported a fourth.

Officials in New Bern, which dates to the early 18th century, said over 100 people were rescued from floods and the downtown was under water by Friday afternoon.

Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.

Flooding and a strong storm surge prompted more than 90 calls to the emergency operation center in Craven County, N.C., for residents trapped in vehicles and homes, spokeswoman Amber Parker said. "I wonder how it would have been with a Category 4 or 5?" said Mason Tarr, standing on the steps of the building where he sought shelter the night before.

More than 650,000 customers were without power in the Carolinas as the eye of Florence went ashore near Wilmington and began its slow trek along the coast, according to poweroutage.us.

The body of the 78-year-old man was discovered by family members on Friday morning.

There is really nowhere for the water to go.

North Carolina Emergency Management warned residents on Friday to stay indoors, avoid stagnant or moving flood waters and have their emergency kits ready. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm will travel through the SC upstate, be downgraded to a tropical depression then turn north toward Ohio. Florence was one of two major storms threatening millions of people on opposite sides of the world.

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