Published: Mon, September 17, 2018
Research | By Francis Brooks

5 dead in Hurricane Florence, including mom and infant

5 dead in Hurricane Florence, including mom and infant

Also, a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington this morning.

More than 440,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said. Forecasters said catastrophic freshwater flooding is expected well inland in the Carolinas over the next few days.

Downtown Wilmington's tree lined-roads were heavily impacted, with New Hanover County Emergency Management reporting closures on Ann Street, Grace Street, Chestnut Street and most of Market Street. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN.

North Carolina Army National Guard soldiers were sent to a home along the 100 block of El Nora Lane in Otway, North Carolina, on Friday in reference to two deaths there.

A new 5-minute video from the space station shows Florence coming ashore in the US for the first time. "Of course, I live in New Bern, I'm a property owner here, I have friends that live here and have property here, work here, and it's devastating to see our lovely community and parts of it underwater, and to even worry about my own home".

Residents can be seen wading through deep floodwater in New Bern as they attempt to retrieve their belongings.

Almost 300,000 customers in North Carolina were meanwhile reported to be without power as the outer band of the storm approached.

The storm was downgraded to a category one Thursday evening, but is still packing winds of at least 85 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center is that Florence is just inland near Cape Fear North Carolina.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern North Carolina and eastern SC on Friday and Saturday, then head north over the western Carolinas and central Appalachian Mountains early next week, the NHC said.

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With winds picking up along the coastline earlier Thursday, federal and state officials had issued final appeals to residents to get out of the path of the "once in a lifetime" weather system.

They warned the public that many trees will continue to fall as the storm continues to bring hurricane-force winds and heavy rains to the area.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous agreed, telling ABC News' David Muir, "I see a biblical proportion flood event that's going to occur".

With rain pounding relentlessly, the streets were deserted.

- An 81-year-old man died while trying to evacuate Wayne County, North Carolina, on Friday, the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says.

Duke Energy said in a tweet that they anticipate 1 to 3 million outages across the Carolinas, adding that restoration in the hardest-hit communities could take weeks.

Not everybody was heeding orders to evacuate, however. She said that count is expected to increase significantly.

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

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