Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence

Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence has weakened somewhat early Thursday as its outer bands approach the North Carolina coast, but weather officials cautioned that the storm will still bring life-threatening conditions. At least four people were killed. More than 60 others had to be rescued as a cinderblock motel collapsed.

It's the most powerful storm of 2018 so far.

Allison James, who lives at Huntersville, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, says based on reports this area would not be directly affected.

A mother and her baby died when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

By that time, emergency crews had already been deployed to parts of the state where people were trapped by floodwaters. "But I think we're ready".

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles.

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington on Friday morning, battering the coastal city with strong winds and torrential rain. "The water started rising and we evacuated nearly an entire TV station in about 15 minutes". This is expected to cause "catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding".

With a storm surge warning in effect, the authorities urge people to prepare themselves for the disaster.

Prior to Hurricane Florence's landfall, more than 1.7 million were ordered to evacuate the coast.

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American and Southwest Airlines were among the carriers canceling flights to and from the hurricane zone starting Wednesday. North Carolina is the country's leading producer of tobacco, second-biggest producer of hogs and a major poultry producer.

Once a Category-4 hurricane with winds of 225kph, the hurricane was downgraded to Category 1 on Thursday night. On the forecast track, the centre of the storm is expected to move inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and extreme eastern South Carolina Friday and Saturday. That's enough to fill the Chesapeake Bay or cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water, he calculated. By midnight, his rain gauge showed that he'd gotten 9 inches of rain since mid-afternoon.

On Friday, coastal streets in the Carolinas flowed with frothy ocean water, and pieces of torn-apart buildings flew through the air.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour (225 kph), the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

As of 6 a.m., Florence was centered just 10 miles (20 kilometers) east of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Rescue efforts have been widespread across the city and teams are still searching for residents.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU", New Bern city officials said on Twitter.
"We are stuck in the attic".

The wind howled and sheets of rain splattered against windows of a hotel before dawn in Wilmington, where Sandie Orsa of Wilmington sat in a lobby lit by emergency lights after the power failed. Local media said she had suffered a heart attack.

Thousands of people have taken temporary shelter in converted schools and community centers, while those who have ignored orders have been warned that rescuers will not be able to reach them at the height of the storm.

Airlines canceled more than 2,100 flights through Sunday.

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