Hurricane Florence hits: 4 dead in North Carolina, hundreds of thousands without power

Hurricane Florence hits: 4 dead in North Carolina, hundreds of thousands without power
Hurricane Florence has claimed the lives of four people in North Carolina, and left hundreds of thousands without power. Although Florence is slowing, authorities warn the destruction that has already occurred is expected to get worse. (Image source: Video screenshot)

Hurricane Florence claimed the lives of four people after reaching the southeast U.S. coast on Friday, and has left hundreds of thousands without power as it lingers over the Carolinas.

What are the details?

The hurricane hit the coast around 7:15 a.m. ET, after being downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 storm the day before. Although Florence is slowing, authorities warn the destruction that has already occurred is expected to get worse.

Wilmington, North Carolina, recorded wind gusts as high as 105 mph, where a mother and her 8-month-old infant were confirmed dead after being crushed when a tree fell onto the house they were in, according to ABC News. The child’s father sustained injuries in the incident and was taken to the hospital.

The Daily Mail reported that another woman died of a heart attack in Pender County, and a third woman was killed in Lenoir County while plugging in her generator.

“Hurricane Florence is powerful, slow and relentless,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said at a news conference Friday. “It’s an uninvited brute, who doesn’t wanna leave.”

Cooper went on to say, “It’s getting worse. The storm is going to continue its violent grind across our state for days.”

CNN reported that more than 620,000 customers did not have power in the Carolinas by Friday morning, and by the afternoon Duke Energy announced that it expected as many as 3 million outages, which could take weeks to restore.

According to the Weather Prediction Center, Wrightsville Beach had received over 18 inches of rain from 2 p.m. ET Thursday to 10 a.m. ET Friday.

In the town of New Bern, 30,000 residents stayed behind in spite of mandatory evacuation orders. Rescues were conducted overnight and continue after water levels rose more than 10 feet, stranding residents.

At 2:30 a.m. ET on Friday, the City of New Bern tweeted out: “Currently ~ 150 awaiting rescue in New Bern. We have 2 out-of-state on the way to help us. WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU. You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU.”

The National Hurricane Center reported Friday that “catastrophic flash flooding is expected to worsen today across Southeast NC and Northeast SC.”