Confirmed Dead Due to Hurricane Florence

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

Florence was seen as a major test for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was heavily criticized as slow and unprepared previous year for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where the storm was blamed for almost 3,000 deaths in the desperate aftermath.

The tree fell on top of a home on Mercer Avenue, trapping the mother, child and father inside.

Tom Ballance said his wife went to Atlanta and he stayed behind in their New Bern home with their three dogs and a cat.

In the town of Hampstead, emergency responders going to a call for cardiac arrest Friday morning found their path blocked by downed trees.

The centre of Tropical Storm Florence has moved into SC, and both it and North Carolina continue to face powerful winds and catastrophic flooding. Coastal and river communities on the north side of Florence are getting the worst of the flooding as the hurricane swirls onto land pushing a life-threatening storm surge.

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. A 105 miles per hour wind gust recorded in Wilmington Friday morning was the second-strongest ever. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says more than 16 inches of rain have fallen at locations in southeast North Carolina and another 20 to 25 inches is on the way.

Almost 3,000 people died in the aftermath of the storm, according to an estimate from researchers at Georgetown University that was adopted by the Puerto Rican government as the official death toll for the storm.

It is expected to move across parts of south-eastern 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.

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A state of emergency is in effect in five coastal states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

This follows the first confirmed death from the storm, which occurred not far away in Pender County Friday morning.

Parts of New Bern, North Carolina, which is home to 30,000 people, are 10ft (3m) underwater.

Of more than 600,000 power outages across North Carolina, over 100,000 of them span New Hanover County, which has taken much of the brunt of Florence.

"I didn't think it was real when I heard they were giving out rooms", said Liebelt, a communications graduate student at the University of North Carolina. She died Friday morning.

"There's already water (in the) bottom part of people's houses", Todd Willis, who lives in Kennel Beach, North Carolina, said Thursday night.

"I honestly cried", Kittrell said.

Areas along the SC coast, including Myrtle Beach, reported power outages Friday morning and early afternoon.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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