Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
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First Hurricane Florence deaths: mother, infant killed by tree

First Hurricane Florence deaths: mother, infant killed by tree

"We were trying to figure out if we had enough finances to get out and if we were to get out, were we going to be able to get back home".

The sixth Florence related death is also the first reported in South Carolina, according to both the South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Union County Coroner's Office.

A 78-year-old man was electrocuted at a home on SIlver Smith Circle, south of Kinston. It's believed he died after he was blown down while going outside to check on his dogs.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way. "An investigation into the death is underway, but it appears there is no reason for others at the shelter to worry". The large size of the tree made it hard, Wilmington Fire Department Chief Jon Mason said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Forecasters say it is especially unsafe after dark because people trying to escape may not realize how deep flood water is on roads.

While the wind is unsafe enough, the real risk for homes along the coast today and into the weekend is the storm surge.

The storm is forecast to dump about 18 trillion gallons of rainwater on United States soil, most of it in North Carolina, meteorologist Ryan Maue tweeted. Hundreds of thousands of customers had already lost power east of Charlotte.

The eyewall was onshore at the North Carolina coast as of 6am AST (11am BST), with landfall having now occurred.

The storm was expected to move across parts of southeastern 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. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN.

Florence is expected to slowly move west-southwest through early Saturday. "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said.

North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, delivered a message to his state this morning. We are on the bad side of this storm.

"We're looking at the same amount of rainfall in three days".

A state of emergency is in effect in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. The rainfall will cause catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding, the NHC said. However, the main risk is, and always has been, life threatening flooding.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

While forecasters have been keeping a close eye on the storm from the ground, the International Space Station watched the slow-moving hurricane make landfall from above. At least 1 million people were ordered to evacuate along the coast. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency on the federal level Tuesday for the Carolinas and Virginia.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center.

Rainfall will be one of the most destructive elements of hurricane Florence, with heavy rain triggering unsafe flash floods and potential landslides.

The Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 4 to 7 feet.

About 10 million people could be affected by the storm.

"It's like a bomb has gone off", Zaytoun told "Good Morning America" Friday. It's moving westward across the eastern Caribbean, where it's expected to bring up to 5 inches of rain across Puerto Rico. The record was set by Hurricane Helene in 1958 with 135 miles per hour. It's moving north-northeast at 18 miles per hour. It will likely weaken more on Friday, with "rapid weakening forecast over the weekend", the hurricane center said.

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