Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Florence plows inland, leaving 5 dead, states flooded

Hurricane Florence from above: Startling images of the huge storm from the International Space Station Mother, infant, among several killed by Hurricane Florence
Grady Vargas | 15 September, 2018, 13:32

"In an effort to proactively aid our customers, we are launching a community donation program, together with the Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation, in support of the American Red Cross Disaster Relief to assist those impacted by Hurricane Florence", Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla. -based Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement on Friday.

Five people, including an infant, were killed as Florence battered the North Carolina coast on Friday.

By mid-afternoon the winds had dropped to 75 miles per hour (120 kph) and the center was moving west at 6 miles per hour (10 kph), the NHC said, and parts of North and SC would get as much as 40 inches of rain (1 meter). The father was also home, and he was taken to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment.

In Pender County, officials said that a woman died of a heart attack Friday morning as emergency crews tried to reach her; they were delayed because of downed trees and debris in the road.

Also, one person was killed while plugging in a generator, and a man was knocked to the ground while outside and died, authorities said.

"It looks heavy outside", she said. "You're going to have flooding miles and miles inland", the center's director, Ken Graham, said.

Whether residents left their homes, sought refuge in a shelter or are hunkering down, the weather service has bad news: After creeping inland, Florence "is expected to slow down even more today and tonight".

As of 5pm (2100 GMT Friday), maximum sustained winds had weakened to 110kph (70mph) but the NHC warned Carolina residents to be alert for life-threatening storm surges and "catastrophic freshwater flooding".

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Hurricane Florence has begun battering it's way through the North Carolina coastline with heavy rain and high winds in what people fear could lead to the deaths of "a lot of people".

"The water kept rising and kept rising", he said. As of 1 p.m. ET, the storm's sustained winds dropped to 75 miles per hour as it wobbled west-southwestward near the coast, delaying its expected move inland, the National Hurricane Center said. "Plant procedures call for the reactors to be shut down before the anticipated onset of hurricane-force winds", agency spokesman Joey Ledford told CNN.

Will Epperson, a 36-year-old golf course assistant superintendent, said he and his wife had planned to ride out the storm at their home in Hampstead, North Carolina, but then reconsidered. "We're out of power, so we spent the first few hours of the day playing board games with candles". "Right now it's too early to say if anyone should be getting rid of their supplies just yet".

By Friday morning, the shore was flooded, and buildings were damaged, in video she put up on Facebook.

North Carolina Emergency Management warned residents on Friday to stay indoors, avoid stagnant or moving flood waters and have their emergency kits ready.

Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.

Florence is one of four named storms in the Atlantic.

The storm is likely to bring significant rain to the Carolinas, where some places could see upwards of 20 inches, the update said.

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