Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas

Hurricane Florence making landfall in Carolinas”

At least five people, including a mother and her infant, have died in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence slowly moved from the Tar Heel State into SC, officials said Friday.

People walk on a local street as water from Neuse River starts flooding houses upon Hurricane Florence coming ashore in New Bern, North Carolina, U.S., September 13, 2018. Mason said the two victims, who were not identified, died before they could be freed.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina. The childs father was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center with unspecified injuries.

Video reports from several towns in the Carolinas showed emergency personnel wading through thigh-high water in residential neighborhoods.

Dan Eudy said he and his brother were awakened on Thursday night by the sound of a boat ramming against his front porch. "It's not the middle of a hurricane yet, so why not come for a beer?" said Waters, 54.

People are seen inside a shelter run by Red Cross before Hurricane Florence comes ashore in Grantsboro, N.C., September 13, 2018.

"This storm will bring destruction", said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "The house is shaking back and forth much more violently than when the eyewall came through".

Mr Cooper said: "Catastrophic effects will be felt outside the center of the storm due to storm surge.

More than 485,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said. That number was down to 40 later in the day. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles north of Wilmington. Gradual weakening was expected Friday night, the hurricane center said.

Forecasters warned that the expected rainfall of up to 40 inches may be the real hazard from the storm, which was expected to slowly move southwest into SC before turning north.

Forecasters say "it can not be emphasized enough that the most serious hazard associated with slow-moving Florence is extremely heavy rainfall, which will cause disastrous flooding that will be spreading inland". Later Friday, a wind gust of 68 miles per hour was measured at a station in Wrightsville Beach, near Wilmington. Calls for help multiplied as the wind picked up and the tide rolled in.

Officials say anyone who has not heeded mandatory evacuation orders is on his own. With Florence, "we're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days".

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River left 500 people in peril.

Craven County spokeswoman Amber Parker said water in low-lying places filled the first and second floors of homes.

"It was pretty bad".

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando, com for the latest on the storm. The storm's forward speed had slowed to 6 miles per hour, and forecasters were concerned it might have stalled.

"I'm not going to lie: I'm scared", she said. She retreated and was eventually rescued by a boat crew. We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue.

New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said in an interview with The Charlotte Observer around 5 a.m. that about 200 people had been rescued so far. He stayed in the bar to ride out the storm. But there were times she thought they wouldn't survive, she told CNN. "He is the only caregiver to me and my son", Browning said. "I was born and raised here and been through every storm the last 30 years, but this one seems to be doing more damage than we expected".

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, city officials posted photos of toppled gas pumps and a downed trees early Friday, warning residents to take shelter and avoid roadways.

Additional states have declared states of emergency ahead of the storm, including Georgia and the District of Columbia. Surges of 10 feet had been reported early Friday Morehead City and elsewhere in North Carolina, the National Weather Service said.

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