A woman and her baby were killed when a tree fell on their house and several more storm-related deaths were reported Friday as Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolinas, dousing the eastern United States with torrential rain. The child´s injured father was taken to a hospital.
As of 6 a.m., Florence was 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.
A fourth person reportedly was killed while plugging in a generator in the state's Lenoir County, according to U.S. media. But these winds combined with a giant storm surge and deluge of rain are brewing havoc along the coast. And others could only hope someone would come for them.
In New Bern, North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000 which is located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.
Hurricane Florence had been projected to hit the area earlier in the week, causing many people to hit the stores and stock up on bread, water and batteries.
The city warns that people "may need to move up to the second story" but tells them to stay put as "we are coming to get you".
Bob Better is leading a swift boat rescue team from MA, one of two out of state FEMA teams helping people trapped by water. Although the storm is now a Category 1 hurricane, it is still dumping feet of rain over coastal communities.
More than 1.7 million people evacuated this week, leaving behind homes, schools and precious belongings.
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He added: "We can mitigate by taking a "continuity" approach, recognizing certain EU-approved goods for import into the UK". And the government is proposing to cap any data charges at £45 a month.
The National Hurricane Center downgraded it to a tropical storm on Friday, but warned that life-threatening storm surges - in which water is pushed by a storm over land that would normally be dry - catastrophic freshwater flooding were still expected.
"This is not the end of it", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at FEMA.
A gust of 169km/h was recorded at Wilmington airport, surpassing the power of Hurricane Fran two decades ago.
The downtown area of the city of 30,000 people was underwater and around 150 people were waiting to be rescued, city authorities said on Twitter.
Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey just over a year ago, with floodwaters swamping homes and businesses and washing over industrial waste sites and hog-manure ponds. The few cars out on a main street in Wilmington had to swerve to avoid fallen trees, metal debris and power lines.
Florence's rain will reach 40 inches in some parts of the Carolina coasts, and gusty winds will send the ocean and rivers spilling into neighborhoods, forecasters said.
More than 722,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and SC early on Friday, utility officials said.
There's no doubt that Hurricane Florence is causing some real problems in America right now as it rips through North and SC and Virginia, but a clip has gone viral that appears to show a weather reporter hamming it up a bit.