Entertaiment

Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

Florence rolls ashore in Carolinas, tears buildings apart

More are expected, as the storm could bring winds up to 45 miles per hour around the area, according to Durham County emergency management officials. Already, video has come out from along the Carolina coastline showing that the ocean has effectively moved onto the land, swamping homes in the affected area.

Heavy rain and flooding are expected to continue at least through the weekend, and local officials said hundreds in areas hit by Florence still need rescue.

More than 22,600 people in North Carolina were housed in 150 shelters statewide, including schools, churches and Wake Forest University's basketball arena.

As of 5:00 am (0900 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to near 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, but the NHC warned residents of risky storm surges and "catastrophic flash flooding".

South Carolina Department of Transportation head Christy Hall said trees are already down in areas of Horry County and citizens should prepare for flooding.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", Cooper said. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the United States electrical grid.

The Miami-based center had said earlier Friday Florence's arrival would come with "catastrophic" fresh water flooding over portions of the Carolinas.

The mother and her baby were killed in New Hanover County when a tree fell on their house, the governor said, while confirming another death in Lenoir County.

Morehead City, North Carolina, had received 23 inches of rain by Friday night, and forecasters warned Saturday morning that parts of the Carolinas could get up to 15 inches more. The figure for SC was 170,000 customers. Collins said they had to use a front loader to clear the roads, but a tree smashed through its windshield, according to The Associated Press.

"Rivers are rising to unsafe levels, and the relentless rains will continue through the weekend", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned on Friday. "Major to record river flooding is likely through the upcoming week, especially for those basins that receive significant rainfall".




At 7 a.m., the center of the eye was located about 5 miles (10 kilometers) east of Wilmington, moving west at 6 mph.

"I had a lot of fear initially but I'm glad to be inside and safe", said Zelda Allen, 74, a retired tax accountant from Hampstead, North Carolina, who was riding out the storm at Wilmington's Hotel Ballast with her husband.

Satellites will continue to monitor the progress of Hurricane Florence from space to make more accurate predictions about where it's heading next.

Evacuation warnings were issued for 1.7 million people in the region. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay, or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water.

Florence is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the hurricane centre said.

About 70 people were pulled from a motel near Camp LeJeune at the height of the storm as the roof started to collapse.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

Boat teams including volunteers rescued some 360 residents, including Sadie Marie Holt, 67, who first tried to row out of her neighbourhood during Florence's assault. About 4,300 homes were damaged, she said, affecting a third of the small town's population.

"Honestly, I grew up in Wilmington".