Hurricane Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

Hurricane Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

The Cape Fear river crested at 8.27 feet about 3:30 p.m., setting a new record and by Wednesday, the Maccamaw River may climb to 17.1 feet, the National Weather Service's Wilmington office reported, just shy of its record. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles (150 kilometers) from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles (315 kilometers).

Tropical Storm Florence made landfall Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane and has continued to weaken as it slowly moves inland.

Wilmington police confirmed Friday afternoon that a mother and infant were killed when a tree crashed through their home on Mercer Avenue. The child's father was transported to the hospital with injuries. The person was killed while plugging in a generator. A 78-year-old man was electrocuted attempting to connect extension cords while another man perished when he was blown down by high winds while checking on his hunting dogs, a county spokesman said. His body was discovered by family members.

One man was rescued from the Mercer Avenue home, according to Wilmington Fire Department Chief Buddy Martinette.

Hurricane Florence, weakened but still risky, has crashed into the Carolinas on Friday as a giant, slow-moving storm that stranded residents with floodwaters and swamped part of the town of New Bern at the beginning of what could be a days-long deluge.

The town of Oriental, North Carolina, got more than 18 inches of rain in just a few hours, while Surf City had 14 inches.

It was set to inundate nearly all of North Carolina in several feet of water, State Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, while National Weather Service forecaster Brandon Locklear predicted up to eight months of rain in two or three days. Areas from Wilmington through Fayetteville to Charlotte will experience 500-year to 1,000-year flood events, he said. "Houses. Trees", Holt said.

More than 360 people were rescued as of midafternoon Friday, but another 140 were still waiting for help, city spokeswoman Colleen Roberts told the Associated Press.

Governor Cooper said there have been "several hundred" rescue operations and "there are still some people they need to get to".

"The size of the tree is not something you could simply cut with a chainsaw and remove and then quickly extricate", he said.

"Things here are very, very serious", he said.

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Authorities advised residents who have not evacuated to go to the highest point in their homes, call 911 for help, keep their cell batteries charged as best they can and wait for help to arrive. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely unsafe storm for rain and storm surge.

Officials found a basketball-sized hole in the hotel wall and other life-threatening damage, with some cinder blocks crumbling and parts of the roof collapsing.

Though Florence's shrieking winds diminished from hurricane force as it came ashore, forecasters said the sheer size of the 350-mile-wide storm and its painfully slow progress across North and SC in the coming days could leave much of the region under water.

Coastal streets flowed with ocean water, and more than 460,000 homes and businesses were without power, mostly in North Carolina, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the nation's electrical grid. It was also expected to slip briefly back into the open water during the journey. He said he had trimmed his own trees before the storm.

The NHC said Florence went ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, at 7:15 a.m. EDT with estimated maximum winds of 90 miles per hour.

Since midnight, peak wind gusts reached 32 miles per hour in Raleigh and 47 miles per hour in Fayetteville.

Many counties in southern North Carolina remain under a tornado watch until 7 a.m.

Even with the storm raging, the Army Corps of Engineers prepared to start work to restore power, install temporary roofing and remove debris. "We chose to hunker down".

More than 3,000 inmates at North Carolina prisons and juvenile detention centers were moved out of the storm's path.

Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.

"We know we're in for a long haul here", Cooper said of predictions that the storm will linger over the area. Plus, they'd be there in the morning if first responders needed them.

As of Friday morning, Atlantic Beach, a town on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island chain, had already received 76cm of rain, the US Geological Service said. Storm surge could be up to 13 feet, pushing seawater as much as 2 miles inland.

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