5 dead in Hurricane Florence, including mom and infant

Christopher Davidson
September 16, 2018

Power outages from Hurricane Florence, which made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina and SC, have topped 945,000 customers.

In Pender County, a woman had a medical emergency in Hampstead and passed away early Friday morning, according to the county's Emergency Management. The deaths also included that of a person killed while plugging in a generator, the governor's office said.

Also, a 78-year-old man's body was found around 8:00 a.m.at his home on Middle Street, which is in the Grainers community. They believe he died after going outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown down by the wind.

Hurricane Florence has barrelled into the Carolina coast and moved inland, knocking down trees, overflowing rivers, dumping sheets of rain and leading to the death of five people before it was downgraded to a tropical storm still capable of wreaking havoc. "An investigation into the death is underway, but it appears there is no reason for others at the shelter to worry".

By Friday morning, the North Carolina coastal town of Atlantic Beach had already received 30in (76cm) of rain, the US Geological Service said.

At 2:30 a.m. ET on Friday, the City of New Bern tweeted out: "Currently ~ 150 awaiting rescue in New Bern".

The category one storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina around 7:15 a.m. EDT today.

In a 3 p.m. statement, the NHC said Florence is still moving slowly across southern North Carolina, and "torrential rains will continue".

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While the wind is unsafe enough, the real risk for homes along the coast today and into the weekend is the storm surge.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm and more than 1 million were ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

More than 505,000 homes and businesses are already without power, and energy companies warn up to three million homes and businesses could lose electricity.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

As it moves inland, the storm is expected to bring its high winds and intense rain bands across the southeastern corner of North Carolina and a large chunk of SC. A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, NC, has shut operations. According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a pick-up truck drove into standing water on the road and lost control, overturning into a ditch.

In this photo provided by Jordan Guthrie, wind and water from Hurricane Florence damages the highway leading off Harkers Island, N.C. on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

Storm surge could be as high as 11 feet in parts of North Carolina, prompting officials to closely watch the rise of rivers in the eastern part of the state.

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