Firefighters kneel, pray after mother and baby die from falling tree

Hurricane Florence

‘We Are Coming To Get You’ | 150 Residents Stranded In New Bern, North Carolina

Florence's intensity has diminished since roaring ashore along the USA mid-Atlantic coast on Friday as a hurricane.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called Florence an "uninvited brute" that could wipe out entire communities as it grinds its way across land.

The NWS says southern and central portions of North Carolina into far northeast SC are expected to report an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall - with storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras. Dozens more were pulled from a collapsed motel. "The water started rising and we evacuated nearly an entire TV station in about 15 minutes". "If you aren't watching for them, you are risking your life".

Along with this projection, NHC warned of "life-threatening" storm surges and floods throughout both North Carolina and SC.

Residents are being asked to leave immediately. It said it was located about 40 miles (65 km) west of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and forecasters predicted a slow westward march. At least five deaths are connected to the storm.

A mother and baby were killed when a tree fell on their home in Wilmington. A woman in Pender County also died when a fallen tree prevented emergency crews from reaching her while she suffered a heart attack, a county spokeswoman said. But the center continued to warn about the threat of water.

"Remember most storm deaths occur from drowning in fresh water, often in cars". Highway 12 is still closed in Dare County.

"You can walk faster than this storm is moving", said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. "There's no power. It's a tough situation here".

The tree was about 6 feet above the road surface. "This is not going to be fixed in a week or two weeks". At least seven people have died, a toll authorities fear will rise as the storm crawls westward across SC.

Florence crashed ashore in North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Friday, and was downgraded to a tropical storm the same afternoon. But its progress had slowed to a crawl of 2 miles per hour.

Authorities also confirmed a 78-year-old man's body was found outside by family after being electrocuted while trying to connect extension cords in the rain. Lt. David Daniels of the New Bern Police Department told "CBS This Morning" that 911 calls in his town are being answered and the "system is up and working".

"The fact is this storm is deadly and we know we are days away from an ending", Cooper said. "But every neighborhood seems to have been affected". Hughes said the vehicle's roof is what struck the tree. "For overall damage, it would be hard, at the end of the day, I think, to find a rival for this storm".

"It's an emergency situation". "We're going to have to have patience, we're going to have to be careful and we're going to have to deal with a lot of water".

"The only difference is, back then it was within 14 days", he said. "Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster", the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said in a press release.

The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump had spoken with state and local officials, assuring them the federal government was prepared to help. Along coastal communities, people trapped in homes by relentless flood waters awaited rescue, and tens of thousands hunkered down in shelters after fleeing their homes as the storm approached. The highest numbers are being reported in New Hanover County.

"Doppler radar was showing a band of heavy rain developing off the North and South Carolina Coasts. This band could bring an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain to these areas, exacerbating ongoing flooding and likely leading to additional flooding", the bulletin said.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour as of 5 a.m., the briefing said. The storm knocked out power to more than 890,000 homes and businesses, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks the USA electrical grid. That is roughly double the rainfall from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, he said.

Several more days of rain are expected as Florence, now a tropical storm, hovers over the Carolinas.

The path of Florence will make the unsafe weather conditions last for days, as it has slowed down upon reaching land.

Forecasters warned that drenching rains of 30 centimetres to 1 metre as the hurricane-turned-tropical storm crawls westward across North and SC could trigger epic flooding well inland over the next few days.

At 5 a.m., the center was all but parked over SC, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach, moving west-southwest at just 5 mph (8 kph) and scooping massive amounts of moisture from the sea.

The strongest wind gusts were recorded at 61 miles per hour at the Myrtle Beach International Airport. He said the gust was the strongest recorded in Wilmington since 1958. Electricity remained out for much of the city, with power lines lying across many roads like wet strands of spaghetti. The child's father was transported to the hospital with injuries.

The National Weather Service warned of "life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods" as a staggering 18 trillion tons of rain could be dumped on the Mid-Atlantic through next week, enough to cover the entire state of Texas with almost 4 inches of water.

In New Bern, at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers in North Carolina, the storm surge overwhelmed the town of 30,000.

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