Science

Four killed as Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas

Four killed as Hurricane Florence swamps Carolinas

"A mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house", police tweeted Friday afternoon. The father was also home, and he was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment. The storm is expected to turn west and then north moving through the Carolinas and the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said early on Saturday.

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".

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", tweeted the city of New Bern. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", the New Bern authorities said on Twitter.

The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.

As of 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) but the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

He noted even rainfall in North Carolina could rebound to SC in the form of swollen rivers downstream. On average, a hurricane will hit North Carolina once every five years.

"This is an uninvited brute that just won't leave", he told NBC.

The centre of the storm made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with gales of up to 90mph (150 km/h).

Forecasters warned of catastrophic flooding and other mayhem from the monster storm, which is only Category 1 but physically sprawling and risky.

More than a million people fled the Carolinas and Virginia as Category 1 Hurricane Florence neared. It could go out for a number of days, it could go out for weeks.

Authorities warned too of the threat of mudslides and the risk of environmental havoc from floodwaters washing over industrial waste sites and pig farms.




Two people in Lenoir County were killed: a 78-year-old Kinston man who was electrocuted when connecting extension cords in the rain and a 77-year-old man who was blown down by the wind when he went to check on his hunting dogs.

In a hurricane, as Live Science has reported, the most significant threat is flooding, not the high winds.

"To those in the storm's path, if you can hear me, please stay sheltered in place", he said at a news conference in Raleigh, adding that Florence would "continue its violent grind across the state for days".

"A USGS gauge in Emerald Isle, N.C., recently recorded 6.1 feet above normal water levels", the National Hurricane Center said of the storm surge early Friday.

The NHC said hurricane-force winds extended outward 35 miles (55 kms) from the center of the storm and tropical storm-force winds extended almost 170 miles (280 kms) out.

The White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help.

Florence remains a Category 1 storm, and it's spinning hurricane-force winds up to 35 miles from its center.

Billy Sample, a resident stuck in the town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, said Friday night: "The height of the storm didn't feel as bad as it is now".

In New Bern, population 29,000, flooding on the Neuse River trapped people, and Mayor Dana Outlaw told The Charlotte Observer that about 200 had been rescued by 5 a.m. Residents reached out for help through the night by phone and social media.

In Washington, North Carolina, the wind-swept Pamlico River has risen beyond its banks and is flooding entire neighborhoods.

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