Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

Mother, baby killed after tree falls on home during Hurricane Florence

Hundreds of people in North Carolina have been rescued from rising water. The city of New Bern tweeted to its residents early Friday morning, "We have 2 out-of-state FEMA teams here for swift water rescue".

There have been numerous calls for fallen trees, according to officials, however they are not aware of any others where people are trapped.

"What happens is that we rescue some people and then we find out there are still more who need it", Outlaw said. "We've got some roof issues, parts of roof are coming off and we've got some fences coming down".

As Florence pounded away, it unloaded heavy rain, flattened trees, chewed up roads and knocked out power to more than a half-million homes and businesses.

It comes amid otherwise serious warnings for residents in North and SC as Hurricane Florence, which was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday, continues to put properties and lives at risk.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said Florence was set to cover nearly all of the state in several feet of water.

A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords, while another man died when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said.

Florence remains a Category 1 storm, and it's spinning hurricane-force winds up to 70 miles from its center.

"Florence is an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told NPR's Morning Edition.

There were reports of trees and branches down throughout the areas and thousands in Horry County experienced power outages.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

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The NHC described Florence as a "slow mover" and said it had the potential to dump historic amounts of rainfall on North and SC, as much as 40 inches (one meter) in some places.

Neighbour Adam Sparks said he noticed emergency responders arrive at the house across the street right around when his power went out and the storm was intensifying. "Everybody laughs at the fact that this storm got downgraded. but I've never seen tree devastation this bad".

Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington as a category 1 storm causing widespread damage and flooding along the Carolina coastline.

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.

Florence is expected to crawl to the west - battering everything in its path with 80mph winds - before smashing into neighbouring SC.

Billy Porch, who lives at the Atlantic Breeze Apartments, said he wasn't going to start worrying until the water reached the stairs to the second level or rear of the complex.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 195km/h winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore.

The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 inches, the update said.

"Just because the storm is gone, it doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet", he said.

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 12,000 people were in shelters in North Carolina and 400 in Virginia, where the forecast was less dire.

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