Florence's 'violent grind' leaves at least four dead in Carolinas

Cesar Mills
September 15, 2018

Hurricane Florence continues to drop category, but not risky, while hundreds of thousands of people try to get away from the coasts of the two Carolinas and Virginia.

A mother and infant in North Carolina are dead after a tree fell on their home - the first two fatalities of Hurricane Florence. The father sustained injuries and was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for medical care.

In Hampstead, North Carolina, a woman died of a heart attack on Friday since emergency crews could not reach her due to fallen trees in road, local media reported.

Nearly two million people have been displaced by Florence (Pic: GETTY) "It wasn't safe".

"It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Florence had been a Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale with 120-mph winds as of Thursday, but dropped to a Category 1 hurricane before coming ashore. As the storm moves into hilly terrain, it's also expected to unleash catastrophic and potentially deadly flash flooding and possibly mud slides, the hurricane center warned.

By Friday evening, the centre of the storm had moved to eastern SC, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour.

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Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) but authorities warned the danger was far from over.

Duke said it had more than 20,000 personnel ready to start fixing outages as soon as conditions allowed, including over 8,000 from the Duke's Carolinas utilities, 1,700 from the Midwest, 1,200 from Florida and 9,400 from other utilities.

Florence should continue losing strength as it menders along the coast, weakening further as the storm travels across inland SC on Saturday, the weather service said. But it was clear that this was really about the water, not the wind.

He said "24 to 36 hours remain for significant threats" from heavy rain, storm surge and flooding. "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".

"Afterwards, I'm going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a two-day nap, but right now I'm walking the neighborhood and making sure my neighbors are fine, because nobody can get in here".

Florence will likely weaken as it moves inland, especially on Saturday (Sept. 15) as it moves over SC, according to National Hurricane Center predictions.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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