First deaths reported from Hurricane Florence after Wilmington home collapses
17 September, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Bridget Leonard
Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding. Pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.
"Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Florence on September 14 at 7:41 a.m. EDT minutes after the storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina packing winds of 90 miles an hour", NASA said in a video description.
Forecasters have been predicting catastrophic flash flooding.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from its center.
The port city of Wilmington woke Friday to the sound of exploding electrical transformers with strong gusts throwing street signs and other debris as well as water in all directions, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.
Sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before daybreak in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed.
Holt, who has diabetes and clogged arteries, said she stayed for doctor's appointments that were canceled at the last minute.
The rising sea crept toward the two-story home of Tom Copeland, who lives on a spit of land surrounded by water in Swansboro.
The water "is as high as it's ever been, and waves are breaking on my point, which is normally grass", said Copeland, a freelance photographer for The Associated Press.
Cinder blocks that were part of the structure were crumbling in some places, and portions of the roof were missing. As of Friday, weather in Loudoun was mild, and county spokesman Glen Barbour said the center was activated in a "listening" mode.
The storm's maximum sustained winds held at about 145kph.
"WPD can confirm the first two fatalities of Hurricane #Florence in Wilmington".
A fallen tree crashed through the home where a woman and her baby were killed in Wilmington North Carolina after Hurricane Florence made landfall.
NBC News is reporting five deaths as a result of the storm. Officials say more than 100 people have already been rescued in the area overnight.
It was expected to begin pushing its way westward across SC later in the day, in a drenching that could go on all weekend.
More than 12,000 were in shelters in North Carolina.
The remainder of SC and North Carolina into southwest Virginia could see 5 to 10 inches, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches.
More than 1 million people will likely evacuate from the storm's path in the Carolinas and Virginia, according to the New York Times.
The North Carolina State Emergency Response Team also attributed a husband and wife's deaths to the storm. Coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely empty, and schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia. The remnants of Florence are expected to hit the peaks of western North Carolina in a couple of days.
Florence had been a Category-3 hurricane on Thursday but dropped to Category-1 before coming ashore.
Flood conditions are only expected to get worse in the days to come with relentless rainfall from the slow-moving storm.
Florence was one of two major storms on Friday. Debt payments towards things like credit cards and student loans also remained well below the baseline after dropping in the weeks leading up to the hurricanes, suggesting that people may have needed to cut corners on their typical expenditures in order to cover the costs of home and auto fix.
"This is our only home". This is a perilous moment for the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the roads to escape the storm's fury. "We chose to hunker down". "The longer you have this hurricane wind flow, the longer you push that water well inland", he said. We see it happen in New Orleans and other areas.
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Even Wilmington, North Carolina - a coastal city accustomed to severe weather - is bracing for an unusually brutal impact. Hurricane Florence will approach the coast of North Carolina and SC on Thursday or Friday.
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