First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses

Cesar Mills
September 16, 2018

A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house. The child's father sustained injuries in the incident and was taken to the hospital.

Two people died in Wilmington after a tree fell on their house, the city's police department said. "No official update on the condition of the victims". As of 2 p.m., the storm was about 35 miles west-southwest of Wilmington, N.C., and about 35 miles east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

An earlier report that two deaths in Carteret County that were related to the storm have since been corrected.

According to Tom Collins, director of Pender County Emergency Management, a woman called 911 about a medical emergency at her home in Hampstead Friday morning.

Crews have suspended their operations in the area.

By early afternoon, Florence's winds had weakened to 75 mph, just barely a hurricane, but the storm itself had slowed to a crawl as it traced the North Carolina-South Carolina shoreline, punishing coastal communities for hours on end.

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In New Bern, along the coast, homes were completely surrounded by water, and rescuers used inflatable boats to reach people. Cline said July was the wettest ever in that part of North Carolina, and the water table rose 21 inches higher than normal.

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As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph. NOAA also has a collection of live feeds , which include Buxton in North Carolina , and Cherry Beach and Folly Beach in SC .

"We are expecting several more days of rain and our focus now is getting people away from immediate danger and then we will shift to putting our communities back together", Cooper said Friday. "Be alert. To those in the storm path, if you can hear me - please stay sheltered in place". Heavy rain has fallen in and around Oriental, North Carolina, where 20.37 inches of rainfall has been measured thus far.

Speaking during a visit to Moscow less than an hour after the hurricane made landfall in North Carolina, Perry said "we've done this many times before".

In Jacksonville, North Carolina, next to Camp Lejeune, firefighters and police fought wind and rain as they went door-to-door to pull people out of the Triangle Motor Inn after the structure began to crumble and the roof started to collapse.

"The National Hurricane Center said Florence is moving very slowly to the west at only 6 miles an hour, then is expected to turn to the southwest, increasing the threat for historic storm surge and catastrophic flooding to coastline areas and inland cities in North Carolina and SC".

Severe storm surge along the Carolina coastline will continue today and tonight.

It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a drenching that could go on all weekend. "The greatest storm surge inundation is expected between Cape Fear and Cape Hatteras, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers and western Pamlico Sound", the agency said.

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