Florence downgraded to tropical storm, but will continue to threaten Carolinas

Bessie Dean
September 16, 2018

The father was transported to a hospital.

A local official said it was a "storm-related medical fatality", but did not elaborate.

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.

Eduardo Munoz / Reuters A downed tree rests on a house during the passing of Hurricane Florence in the town of Wilson, North Carolina.

The enormous storm crept at a 6 miles per hour pace, making it clear that the trouble was just beginning.

Areas like New Bern also could see an additional 3 to 5 feet of storm surge as high tide combines with the seawater still being pushed ashore by Florence, Graham said.

Householders were stranded in their cars, attics and on rooftops.

Rescue workers help a woman and her dog escape their flooded home in James City.

"It has slowed", he said.

One resident, 67-year-old Linda Smith, told the MailOnline: "We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now".

The NHC said the greatest threats to life came from storm-surges while "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding" was expected.

But the size of the storm meant the path didn't really matter.

Hurricane-force winds extended 130km from its centre, and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 315km.

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The Category 4 storm's approach led to a series of schedule adjustments Tuesday for teams in the Carolinas and Virginia. That would actually be Florence's storm surge, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

Its top sustained winds have dropped to 70 miles per hour (110 kph), and it's at a near standstill, moving west at just 3 miles per hour (6 kph).

Bob Better is leading a swift boat rescue team from MA, one of two out of state FEMA teams helping people trapped by water. "America is proud of you", Trump tweeted on Friday, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which responds to disasters in the United States. "Two people in Wilmington were killed when a tree fell on their home", Cooper said.

Power outages increased throughout Friday.

A state of emergency has been declared in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

Two people were killed in Lenoir County, according to Emergency Services Director Roger Dail during the storm.

"Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless", he said. "It's an uninvited brute who doesn't want to leave".

Storm surge was as high as 10 feet on the Neuse River, he said.

"The cost to SC, if that happens, if the storm continues the way it is going, could be in the billions", Dahler said.

Preparing for the worst, about 9,700 National Guard troops and civilians were deployed with high-water vehicles, helicopters and boats that could be used to pluck people from the floodwaters.

"Rescue workers are working in unsafe conditions that will only get worse today", he said.

"It will not stop, this weather event of Florence", Begnaud said.

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

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